December 5th, 2005

YS getting better at hovering to tt and pitta is doing even better


I was having my breakfast prior to getting in with Yingshiong. I was half watching the news and half looking at and hearing YS. He was on the door perch and singing and singing away. The singing was better than the other days. For the last week or so, I removed the MM the night before. But yesterday, I left it inside.

His mood was so obviously better that I will be leaving the MM in. From yesterday early wakeup, dawn broke at about 645 am. YS would get up around that time. Since I normally would get up at 9am, such as today, YS would remain hungry until I finished my breakfast to join him.

With that singing indicating his happiness, I would be leaving some MM for him to eat in the morning, even if thats not much. His happiness is more important than the advantage of training him on empty stomach.

I got in to find the MM was 38.3 gm or 0.1 gm less than the evening before indicating he ate a bit. I threw the MM away and gave MM to 38.6 with the rest of the MM and placed that into the cage.

YS was 32.4 gm.

I then continued with the clicker exercises. His response was remarkably good. I believe that while training is food motivated, there was a lot more than just food alone. By allowing hims a bit of food like I did this morning, his mood might have been better and he more eager to train. Perhaps he might have found the training to be fun as well, or at any rate, the interaction with me might have been fun for him.

Yesterday, he did fly to touch target. His primary postion for tt was on the door perch. I had to use enticement such as holding a suri on tweezer to get him to fly to tt.

I changed the tt to be on the stool.

And hold the target closer to him but out of his reach.

It could also be his mood today was that much better.

It could be he understood finally what was expected of him and he was having fun.

I need not use any food as enticement. I hold the target about 6 inches out of his reach and above him. At cue, he hovered up from the stool to tt. He got his c and t.

I hold it a few inches from the side of the stool. He jumped up and hovered to the target to touch it and hovered backwards to the stool. Then to the left. And to the front, the target always out of reach and he flew or hovered each and every time. He got his millis. At the end of session, he would also get his suri and a cricket.

It was then time to check the pitta. I observed him from a crack in the door. I wanted as little interaction with him as possible as he would be returned to the wild. He was standing in his cage erect, a far cry from the first and second day. I thought he was looking good yesterday, but today was even better.

I had not seen him eating. As I quarantined him, I did not care to use YS weighing scale to weigh his food bowl to find how much he ate. Since the pitta was shitting well, I assumed he did eat his food even though he did not eat all the mealworms I placed there.

The pitta was also very agitated with my close approach trying to scramble up the far side of the cage.

His wildness pleased me tremendously. Kind of a strange feeling I had. After all the times of taming first Tinkerbell and now YS, and yet, here I am being so happy that a bird is getting wilder and more paranoid of me. That augurs well for his return to where he belonged. I need not bang on pots and pans to induce him to fear me. I guess my ugly face was enough to spook him.

Not withstanding his insults on me, I loaded a couple of crickets already zapped to prevent their becoming escapees.

I decided againt trying to change his paper. I placed the paper on top of the bottom grill like in YS. Earlier, I found he stood on the bottom grill instead of the perch. I also read the pitta is a ground dweller and I felt his standing on paper placed on bottom grill would be more comfortable for him.

It complicated the housekeeping. Since the paper was not in the tray below which could be removed to change the paper, I would have to remove the top of the cage to change the paper. That would be very intrusive of the pitta.

I then left the pitta to do my own things.

Until YS screamed and screamed to get me back to him.

We then go through the exercises. He became more feisty and got into the spirit of touching the target. His pecking on target became more violent. I was happy with that. His shyness and timidity with me were gone. At a touch target from me, I thought by mistake he overflew the target. Then his feet lashed out on the target. Perhaps he wanted to land on the stick, but again, he might be funning himself and became more creative in touching the target. He got his click and treat.

At 1 pm the MM was weighed to be 38.3 or a drop 0.3 gm. I topped up to 38.6 gm with the MM I prepared yesterday.

YS was 33.1 gm

From time to time, I did my own things and from time to time, YS called me until I joined him.

I ran out of crickets in the holding box. I had to get more crickets from the smb 3 which is also a cricket box. But since that contained suris as well, the cover was fitted tightly on and not removable the way it was when used purely as a cricket box. It was not easy to removed crickets. Those creatures were so fast and they hopped too.

YS knew the process and he hold himself in readiness. Despite my best efforts, now and then a cricket made the big breakout. YS would fly like a flash to those cricket escapees to snaffle for himself a nice cricket.

At 6 pm, the MM was 38.5 gm indicating YS did not eat much of this batch. But on the other hand, there were more training sessions this afternoon. And he grapped a couple of cricket escapees and he hijacked a few fat suris when I was trying to get more millis from smb 1.

YS weight was 33.4 gm


Note: Normal weight range of shama is 28 - 32 grams
from the information below .

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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