November 22nd, 2005

Yingshiong touched target and was I mistaking the finger pointing to the moon as the moon itself?

The day before, I even bought a notebook. The kind with paper that you need a pen or pencil to write in. I had been recording YS data on the back of discarded pieces of paper before I transcribed into here. I thought YS deserved something better than that. Also I did not mixed up at times and I had to figure which was the new set of data.

So into that notebook this morning, the following was entered.

MM was 38.4, against 38.6 the evening before.

YS was 35.1 gm.

I should explain the sounds from YS. I classify his singing as

1 Loud singing, normally done in the morning or when he heard other birds singing and he would sing loudly to challenge them

2 Soft singing, normally done when I played CDs of songs that he seemed to like, like the Sarawakian Sape trance music and some tracks of the Andean flute music. That was why I was hunting for Chinese flute playing the traditional classical Chinese music. There is a lot of warbling and thrilling in those music.

3 Very very soft singing, done by YS when I am preselecting suris from the small box into his feeding box. YS would be standing next to me and now and then, I offered one to him.

As for calls, YS has this very loud chair chair chair that he uses to call me over to him in the morning and in the evening before he goes to sleep, and at times in between just to call me to him.

YS also has this very very soft baby like warbling that he uses to talk to me.

My wife heard his very very soft singing for the first time after he was weighed. I covered the scale but he remained on top of the cover making that very very soft singing. I called my wife to turn off the TV and it was a while before she could hear it.

So in that morning, I periodically skewer a whitey, or a suri, click that clicker and gave that to him. I was feeding him a lot less whitey/suri ever since conditioning clicker started.

I was not with him the whole morning. I periodically left him to go to the PC room when he then loudly chair chair chair to get me back.

He now accepted me very readily sitting on the stool next to him. So he stopped getting rewards for that.

I lowered that perch next to me to a low level. That would be a good place for him to perch on. I tried that before, and had to beat a retreat and raised that again. But that was in the earlier days when YS was very shy.

I also transfered his water and MM bowl out from the cage and onto the perch.

Then at around lunch time, I weighed his MM to find no change. Threw that away and measured in fresh MM at 39.1 gm.

YS was then weighed to be 36.2 gm. He was impatient for the whitey and moved off the scale so I raised my hand thinking he would back off and get on the scale. To my surprise, he gently pecked at my finger. I was shocked, and delighted, very delighted. In the past, he would back off , and more likely, fly off. Its so nice that he felt confident enough with me to peck at my fingers.

So when he eventually flew to the cage door perch, I thought I would just try the target stick with him. I moved over to the stool. Got out the target and hold it near him. To my delight, he moved forward and pecked at the target. I thought he might not as at 36.2 gm , he might not be hungry enough.

I happily clicked, to see him flying off to high perch. I think YS was still timid. From some unknown reservoirs, he got his courage to peck the target and he might be tensed about that. Than he heard the click. I must confess the clicker I was using gave an almost military grade kind of click. A very loud click.

In fact, the night before, I dug around and found very small clickers with much softer click that I should have used in the first place. Then I thought with all my conditioning of clicker, I sure would not like to repeat conditioning of a softer clicker. Besides, in situations without the target stick, YS knew the click meant he would be getting suri/whitey and he looked forward to that click.

Eventually he came down and back on the perch and he got his suri.

I brought up the target again. After a couple of seconds, he touched target and got another click. That send him into the cage where he got suris. He remained in his cage. I stuck the target into the cage resting it on his former food bowl. He hopped up and tt again. At the click he hopped down.

I really wished I used the smaller clicker with the softer click.

I hoped for successful conditioning of target to get him to come to me on recall.

I sat back on the armchair and he came out of the cage onto the cage door perch. I felt sorry and missed his earlier exuberances with me before I went into this clicker training. I missed his very very soft singing to me that became very much less these few days. I looked at him and he was seemed to be sad too.

I decided to take a break from clicker, skewer and target. I took out the suri box, and got a suri with my fingers and hold it up high calling 'Yingshiong, come get your suri'. He took off immediately and flew to me hovering at my finger tip for a while before taking that suri and back to his perch. I sensed the happiness in him. I was happy too.

So I got another suri and called him. He first gave me a round of very very soft singing and flew to me to get the suri.

He landed on the table on top of the scale cover. He then started to very softly chat with me, almost like a kind of baby ji ji ka ka ri ri.

I had to get yet another suri. I hold it with my right fingers and positioned my left index finger to give him a perch. He looked at me, hopped up to my finger, took that suri and flew to the table to eat it. With him still softly chatting with me, alternating with very very soft singing, I had to give him suri again, with him standing on my finger. He flew to my finger, waited on my finger for a few seconds, and then took the suri.

An hour later, I got back into flight room. YS was on his cage door perch.

I got a suri, hold up my left index finger, and softly asked 'Yingshiong, come here'.

With great delight, I watched him flying to me and hover above the finger and slowly touched down on my finger. With praises to him, I gave him his suri. He stayed on my finger to finished that.

While I was going through the clicker training which I still believe to be important, I became too involved in the technicalities. Somehow along that road, I lost sight of the soul. In using the head, I forgot the heart.

TT was to lead him to fly to me and onto my finger. And other later things too.

I forgot to pay close attention to him and see his feelings. He might have been hurt by my always formal clicker training lessons. He might be wondering where was his friend? Did I go through a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde transformation?

Had I, mistook the finger pointing to the moon as the moon itself?

My birdwhisperer friend from Tsaoling seemed to be more successful than me.

Perhaps I should be more like him, even while still holding on to clicker training.

I will have an even softer approach with YS. By being too focused on success, I might have ended up laying the source of failure. I think I need to remain relaxed as my friend from Tsaoling kept telling me.

Then at 6 pm his MM was 38.8 gm with drop of 0.3 gm.

YS weight was 36.6 gm


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