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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

Stuff that T bone steak and gimme the caviar!

This morning, MM was 38.2 gm indicating that 0.2 gm was eaten.

YS weighed in at 34.6 gm.

YS was familiar with the routine.

It started with me selecting whiteys that emerged from the pupae box to place in the whitey box. I removed the plastic cover of the scale, got the bowl out and readied the notebook to record. The bowl was weighed first with YS perched on the cage door perch. When the bowl was removed from the scale, YS flew over to the table to wait his turn. He knew he would get a whitey or suri for the weighing followed by more later.

YS was eager for the weighing, very eager in fact. Though the bowl was 37.8 gm empty weight, the last bit of 0.4 gm was kind of powdery and perhaps difficult for YS to eat. The standard shama weight as stated by experts ranged from 28 to 32 gm, so YS weight was still on the high side.

Since YS was on the display and not on the measuring platform, I used my hand to try to herd him back. He was not frightened by my hand now though he avoided contact by moving back.

Then he was making advances to the open box of whiteys, just moving back when I stopped him with my hand.

I then thought of the last couple of days when he would be landing on the stool where I rested my leg. Should I move my leg, he moved too, but not afraid of my leg. He looked at my movement with some irritation and looked as if he would peck my ankle.

In fact, he did pecked at my fingers the last couple of days when he tried to get at whiteys and I stopped him.

Then it kind of hit me. He was no longer afraid of me unlike the beginning when he remained on the very high perch. If he was timid and shy, then of course I need to be gentle with him. I then thought of yesterday when he flew to me, hovered and refused the whitey when I tried to get him to land on my finger and returned to his perch. Then immediately after, when I had the suri, he landed on my finger to take that suri.

It was like he was telling me " Stuff that T bone steak and gimme the caviar!" and imposing his will on me.

I treated him as a friend and as equal. I gave him an inch and he wanted a foot. As equals, I decided that since he up the ante with me and wanted to bargain with me, then I had the right to bargain with him as well.

He did showed great reluctance to touch target. With his antics, I felt that he was not afraid of the target, but he was trying to impose his will on me.

I feared that if I let it be, the relationship with him might stagnate at a plateau, and he might never be at the stage when we could go outdoors.

So I decided to force the issue with touch target.

This morning I was also warming and drying the rest of the batch of MM. Because of that, no MM was given to him, partly because of the drying and partly deliberately done by me.

He got on his door perch. I hold the target and he turned his head away. I moved it towards him and he flew back into the cage. He had known that if he touched target, he would get his treats. Yet he deliberately refused , and he had showed no fear at all to target, just bloody minded.

Since he had no mash in cage, and no treats from me,he dropped to the cage floor to pick around for the legs and other small parts from the treats he taken trying to make himself look very pathetic. I changed the paper from that cage as I was not impressed by his acting. I offered him to tt again but he refused.

Whenever I left the room, I could see him through the glass door trying to get at the suris in the suri treat box. I had to wedge that suri treat box into another plastic box to prevent him from succeeding.

Then I got back in, place the suri box in prominent view, hold up the target near him and he turned his head away. When I brought it nearer, he flew off, and flew back when the target was removed.

I really felt that he was fed so well and that he is intelligent and incredibly manipulative. His demanding of suri to stand on my finger was so clear.

I tested him again with standing on my finger for a whitey to see him flying to me. Then when I raised the finger for him to stand on, he hovered and turn back. He could not have been that hungrey as to pretend to look for tiny legs and discarded parts like what he did.

I felt guilty 3 hours later as I had absolutely refused to give him whitey/suri unless he touched target(other than a couple for the standing on finger test. So I weighed him.

To my surprise, his weight was 34.7 gm. I thought his weight might have dropped to sub 34 gm. He was not starving as I feared, though I could not figure why his weight went up slightly instead of plunging down.

I was about to go for lunch and to town. So I measured out MM at 38.6 gm. I gave him another chance to TT. He chose to insult me by going into his cage to take the MM.

After a futile search for Chinese classical flute music in China Town, I came back at about 5 pm.

He was singing this morning, including the soft singing. Periodically, he called me to face bouts after bouts of me attempting him to tt.

He greeted me with silence when I called to him on entry to apartment. He used to return my calls with chair chair chair.

I took a fat succulent suri with tweezer and hold it with right hand and left hand holding the target. He lunged for the suri but I kept interposing the target. He was dodging right and left to try to get past the target to the suri. It confirmed my hypothesis that he had no fear of the target stick, but just refused to tt for reasons best known only to him.

He even flew up and tried hovering past the target. We had this battle of will for a few minutes. He then pecked the target and I immediately gave him the suri.

A few minutes later, I took another suri with tweezer and the target stick thinking it should be easier. We had to battle it out again for a while. Then he touched target and got his suri.

I weighed the MM to be 38.2 gm with a drop of 0.4 gm.

YS weight was 35.8 gm.

I think I will be making determine efforts to reduce YS weight so he would not be insisting on caviar when I offered him prime steak.

If you are in a buffet and no longer hungry, you will hardly be motivated by food to do anything to get more food. That might be the same with YS.

Overweight is also not healthy for him.

Perhaps you might understand me better now why at the earlier stage I was so obsessed with getting accurate weighing scale.

YS might pretend and tried his tricks to pretend he was starving. But the scales would not lie.

I will use the high end of shama weight to be his low end. I will not let his weight to drop below 32 gm giving a comfortable margin against any risk on YS part. His weight at the end of the day would be kept below 34.0 gm

Then, perhaps he might appreciate the steak I gave him rather then him demanding for caviar.


If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.

Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust


or to WWF or other conservation bodies of your choice

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