December 19th, 2005

YS third day in apartment, his voilational checking of living room and suris rediscovered


As usual, I had my coffee and breakfast and watched the news while YS was on the door perch looking in at me. He flew to the stool and then to the chair looking in on me impatiently.

Then at 930 am, I went in and found the MM to be 38.9 gm. YS was at 33.8 gm. I placed the MM bowl back into the cage. Since YS appeared so alert, I did not do the usual exercise with him in flight room. I took the millis and crickets and clicker and went into the living room with that sliding door opened.

I sat on the armchair just next to the flight room. Since he was looking at me so intently, I thought I do a pure recall. The milli box was opened and on my thigh in readiness. I raised my left hand and hold the clicker in right as a visual cue to YS. I called "Yingshiong, come here!" . To my delight, he came to me. He flew from his door perch, hovered briefly after he crossed the sliding door as if considering, and then came and landed on my finger. He got his click and millis. If I had suris, he would have gotten one just for that. I then brought him through the step-up exercises, more as an excuse to pamper him with treats. Then with a wave of my hand, I send him back to his door perch. That way, we went through 4-5 series of pure recalls and step-ups. There were less and less hesitations. The last recall was solid, with immediate response from him.

I then got up from the arm chair and sat on the sofa less than four feet further into the living room. I waited a while, had more coffee and a ciggie.

I then tried a pure recall. YS looked at me, stooping his body as if to launch off at me but he did not. After a couple more attempts, I thought I better resort to waving of treats as well. I hold my left hand up for him to fly to, and waved the milli box at YS and did a recall. To my delight, he launched off from his door perch this time. He flew past the sliding door to me, and then hovered in front of the armchair, and turned around and flew back to the perch. He found another invisible line that he was reluctant to cross.

I tried another two times, and at each time, he halted at that new invisible line and turned back. I then waved the cricket box at him for that thired recall attempt. But he just refused to cross that new invisible line. It was so frustrating, and yet so enchanting, to see him hovering and pondering it over even if he did not come to me on the sofa. I wished I had the suris, as perhaps that might have just tipped the scale and gotten him to come to me.

You read a couple days ago of the suri mishap of smb1 where I could hardly find any baby suris. And how I wanted to conserve the remaining stocks of suris. But I felt this situation definately merit the using up of my scarse suris. So I got back into the flight room with YS on his door perch. I dragged out smb1 hoping for some remnants of suris. I took that intermediat box to scoop up some peatmoss to sort that out.

Incredibly, I saw so many tiny suris from just a portion from that intermediate box. And suris of intermediate sizes and large gravid suris. The large gravid suris were immediately returned to smb1. That was a running battle with YS as he tried his best to hijack those returnees. Two days ago, there were hardly any baby suris or medium suris. I then noticed that today, I scooped from the end of the smb1 which was against the wall and under the table. That was the darkest spot of the smb1.

I was very engrossed in the sorting and gathering of medium suris and many millis. I noticed YS was not bothering me. Then I heard his chair chair chair. I raised my head to find that he entered the living room of his own accord this time. The last couple of days, I got him into the living room with subterfuge. I got him to step up and in the recurring stepping ups and with the milli box under his nose to gorge on, I slowly brought him into the living room.

But this time, he flew into the living room all on his own. It did not mattered to me that he was only a couple of feet inside and on the table fan (switched off of course!). He was looking and looking and looking all around him. He then took off for the overhead lights and landed there. He hopped from one arm to another and another, changing his perspective views of the living room with each hop. He changed to the top of the cupboard, and to the other overhead hanging lamps, and to the lintel between living room and flight room. First I discovered the suris in smb1 did not keel over and die but were lurking and hiding in the end of the smb1 that I did not got from earlier. And then YS flew into the living room on his own and explored a bit of it.

I also had a decent amount of suris in holding box and with one already skewered with a tweezer through in readiness as a treat.

YS was not looking at me. I knew it was pointless to try even a waving of suri recall when he was more interested in exploring. I do not believe in cheapening the recall cue in using it when the chance of him coming was absolutely zero.

Eventually, YS went back to the flight room to take a drink from his cage. I waited till he was on the door perch and looking in at me sitting on the sofa. I did a waving-of-suri recall. But he refused to cross that new invisible line and flew back to his door perch. You all could understand me when I walked over to him to give him that suri.

I know, I am a bad trainer and treats should not be given if he did not respond. But YS is also my friend. I felt he tried his best already, even if he did not land on my finger. For that, and for friendship, he got his suri.

And now I re-discovered the suris in the smb 1, I decided to make the suri habitat even better for them. I took aluminum foil and wrapped the sides of the smb1 and smb2 to make them into a dark place that they liked. I took newspapers to cover the top to make them darker. Smb 3 which was also for crickets were left alone.

Hopefully, the suris would be so content that they grow to bigger fatter suris and have lots of little suris as well. I still would be very selective on feeding suris to YS and would be relying more on crickets as jackpot treats. Crickets are sold in almost all bird and aquarium shops. I was even thinking of making a trip to the shops in AMK area. 6 weeks ago when I was hunting for peatmoss there, an old lady walked up to be and asked surreptitiously if I wanted "siao jang lang" (translated directly to small cockroaches). For all I know, she might have been referring to small cockroaches, which I DEFINATELY DO NOT WANT, and not the suris. Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part.

At 1 pm the MM was at 38.6 gm or drop of 0.3 gm. I threw that away and gave fresh MM at 39.2gm . YS weight was at 33.7 gm. He was in the living room flying about and exploring about and hopefully, getting more familiar with it. I had millis and crickets and even suris. But he was not interested in the treats then.

He stayed in the flight room for the afternoon. The sliding door was opened from time to time (after securing Ivan). He would fly to me on pure recalls when I was in the armchair. But he would not crossed that line to come to me when I was in the sofa.

At about 6, the MM was at 39.0 gm. YS was at 35.0 gm. I could not figure out how he got so heavy. He did get lots of millis and some crickets in the flight room for his click and treats and jackpot treats. Perhaps he found a horde of suri and cricket escapees and pigged out on them when I was not around.


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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