November 11th, 2005

YS standing on my fingers and water loss from YS mash

This morning I prepared two bowls.

The bowl for YS weighed in at 40.9 gm with exactly 3 gms in it. The control bowl was 38.3 gms with 3.1 gm in it. This control bowl was kept in the hall.

After the YS bowl was fixed back in his cage, he flew to the weighing scale and his first reading of the morning was 33.9 gm. This morning, there were a few white newly emerged mealworms beetles. I took one with my fingers to let him hover to get it. Then I took another. But instead of pointing it upwards or towards YS, I twisted my hand so the tip of my fingers pointed towards me with the back of the hand to YS.

He looked at me for a while. I almost can hear the clockwork going inside his head as he worked that out. The back of my hand towards him blocked him from his usual hovering in the air to get at the beetle. Then as expected from the position in which I hold my hand, he flew over and stood on my fingers to get the beetle. He then flew off. I was happy he flew to the table to eat that soft beetle instead of to the cage.

This is flying and landing to my fingers to get the food. This is not the recall to me at a cue given to him. That will be done during the clicker training itself.

But I broked another barrier with him. That he can land on my fingers and in contact with my person. It got to him that landing on me is alright and is safe.

He looked on again at me and called from the weighing scale.

I got out a nice suri this time. I placed my left hand with my index finger as his perch between him and my right hand with the suri and asked him to step up. Not that I think he understand English. But in my vocalising "step up" I create in my mind the mental image of him stepping on my finger and enjoying that food, and mentally urged him to do so.

Perhaps it was that, perhaps the suri just looked so tempting. But I was so pleased when YS hopped onto my finger and took that suri from my right hand. Almost as if in relief he got the suri, he flew back to the cage to soften and eat that suri. I tried again, but he showed reluctance.

Then I backed off from this new exercise. Enough of standing on fingers at least for now. He did for me what I wanted and I was pleased and happy. I hold to him his suri for him to take without hovering or paying any other price as friendship to him.

At the end of all that, YS weighed 34.5 gm. I left that flight room to watch TV. He called to me from time to time to get a wave from me with me telling him to eat his delicious mash. I went to the PC room but periodically answer his calls to tell him to go eat mash.

At about lunch 4 hours later, I went back into flight room with that control bowl. It weighed in at 37.8 gm, or a loss of 0.5 gm from that 3.1 gm that must have been water evaporation.

YS bowl weighed in at 40.2 gm or a drop of 0.7 gram So definately, YS had been eating the mash. Since I saw him eating shortly after I left in the morning, I am sure he had more than just the 0.2 grams difference.

His weight was measured to be 34.4 gm

He did eat the treats I mentioned. But do consider that he would have spit out the exoskeletons. Than of the stuff inside the beetle and suri, more than 90% would be water. So the nutrient he took from the beetles may not have been that much.

In fact, yesterday when I measure the weight drop from the bowl, I was astounded and felt he could not have eaten that much such that was almost concentrated protein and fat and carbo. Thats why I decided on the control bowl.

I checked that small container of peat moss and suris. Earlier on, I had found there were tiny worms and weevil like beetles in addtion to the suris.

I am rather happy at those tiny worms and weevils. YS liked them and I use them as tiny treats for him standing on the scale.

At 4 pm, I weighed YS bowl to be 39.9 gm, or a drop of 0.3 gm. The control bow was found to be 37.6 gm or a drop of 0.2 from loss of moisture.

YS weight was an incredible 34.6. Either he drank just before I weighed him or he broke open the boxes and ate some insects and closed back the lids.

I got him again to stand on my finger to get at a suri. A 2nd request saw him unwilling to repeat that so I gave that to him. This is a companionship and of give and take. Or maybe I making excuse I am a lousy trainer. But then, I never consider myself a trainer or to teach you how to train.

If anything, I just like to show you how you can enter into a different relationship with your charges and have as much fun as what I had with Tinkerbell and having now with YingShiong.

Just before I left, I weighed YS bowl to be 39.9 still. My eyes popped when the control indicated 37.4 or a drop of 0.2 grams. I must have spilled some, or YS took some from the control that I left on the floor. I removed control with me when I left that room

At 615 pm I went back to him for the last time today. I will be having dinner and drinks with friends.

YS bowl was 39.8. Control was 37.2. Do not ask me. I did not spill and it was in the hall.

YS was a nice 34.9

He waited on the scale while I was digging for a nice juicy suri. He sang so softly and sweetly to me.

I got a big juicy suri and in his eagerness, he hovered in front of me. I stuck my left hand with finger out and he so sweetly landed on my finger, and took that suri to fly back to his cage.

The mash looked good. I will leave it in the cage for him to eat when he wakes up tomorrow. I will then change it when I eventually get up.

I do think we are getting along.

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