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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

Start of Plan A - harness for Yingshiong

I woke up at an unearthly time according to my standards. I recalled
a cold cold nose rubbing my nice warm nose, and since my wife's nose
was warm and she never rubbed her nose on my nose, it must have been Ivan
the cat in his self appointed role as my alarm clock. Problem was that
he did not have a switch to set the time. I guess I should consider myself
blessed in that he only became an alarm clock when light is across the sky.
After I brushed my teeth, Yingshiong went into a burst of song. That was
one of his territorial full blast that can be heard half a block away. I lie
back on the bed to listen. This was actually nicer than listening from the
living room. Because the song was filtered by the walls and doors, I was
enjoying YS latest variation of a theme best known only to himself.

I closed my eye to listen to it better. And dropped back into sleep. And Ivan
felt that if he woke up up and I got vertically up, he was not going
to do that job twice. So it was at about 945 am that I got up. By which
time, YS was silent when I opened that sliding door to let him into the apartment. He flew in silently and perched on the fan as I had my breakfast.

I then weighed his MM at 37.9 gm, or .3 gm less than what I gave him after
he slept. I had tried leaving an empty bowl (weight 37.8 gm) for him overnight. But I found his response to me was better if I left a bit of his MM so he had some breakfast. Considering that I do get up late, and erratic time, I felt it was better to leave him some food. That balance of food was
thrown into the suri main box 1 and fresh MM to 38.5 was weighed.

YS was at 31.7 gm. The last few days I had been trying to get him down to morning weight of 31.0 gm, and that was tough. My propensity to give him food
was having a battle royal with my determination to take his weight down.

We went back into the apartment. He was sharper today than yesterday when his morning weight was at 31.2 gm. But then, I got up that much later today and many other variables might have been involved. He perched on the fan watching
me. At call of his name, he tensed up and at come, he took off and onto my finger to get his click and treat of milli. That was followed by pure recall
to shoulder.

After those short recalls of about 5-6 feet, I moved to the main door about 12-15 feet away to do the recalls to finger and to shoulder. A couple of times, he flew off to me as I called his name. Since I did not say 'come here', my hand was still down. He hovered in front of me until I took pity on him to raise up my finger and complete the cue of 'come here' for him to land and get his click and treat.

I then moved to the kitchen door of about 24-30 feet away for the far recalls. After over a week when he refused to budge and fly to me until
he saw me holding a suri, it was with pleasure that YS flew to me as cued
for his milli. I now have enough suris breeding more suris and could give
him his suris very easily. I had to resist the urge and stick to milli isntead
to keep his weight down. My nice warm feelings to him faded as after the long
flight from the fan, he chose to land on nearby chair to wait for the next
recall cues. After a few more of that, I shifted to the corridor.

I had been trying to get him to fly around the corner to me. But he needed
to get use to that corridor area before he would fly voluntarily in that area.

He refused to budge for milli. Only when I waved a suri, did he then flew to
me. The distance was short, maybe 6-8 feet. Back that was in a new area.

This was the corridor that lead to the PC room and bedrooms. Ivan was in one of the spare bedroom, locked and bungee corded as well after the scare he gave me by escaping a couple weeks ago and got into the PC room with YS. I am good at double bolting barn doors.

This corridor was where I brought YS along with the Head In Milli Box (HIMB) technique. I hold the milli box to him for him to stick his head in to gobble and gobble the millis while I walked him to where I wanted him to be. You recalled it took days of that HIMB before I could walked him with dignity on my shoulder.

You seen how many days I had to accustome YS to the PC room before he flew to me on recall. Even so, recalls and step ups in the PC room were never guaranteed till today.

The dining area clearly visible and part of living area needed day after day before YS accepted and fly to me across the dining area. YS was taken to the kitchen (with that HIMB) three days or more, and he still refused to fly to me on recall in the kitchen.

A shama is a shama and not a parrot just like a cat is a cat and a dog is a dog. Parrot is a flock creature. Shama is a solitary bird. Their mental makeups are so different, like cats and dogs.

Tinkerbell would fly to me of her own accord and stay on my shoulder of her own accord. I could readily take Tinkerbell outside and I know she would stay with me. Tink would be like a dog and Yingshiong would be like a cat.

YS is also so shy that any other person coming near will spook her. My friend CM came over a few times. Even in the last time, YS was still so frightened of him. YS was frightened of my mother in law, but then, all mother in laws are frightening.

If YS is ever to be taken outdoors, even if after YS played hide and seek with me in the apartment, he will need long long time to accept strange places.

With the scare of avian flu, there will be no way I can rent a gym or a hall to have a safe enclosed place to get him used to the place and tosemi free fly YS in. Shama is so flighty, and as you have seen, can perch on the most unlikely perches, that YS might perch so high up. If he refused to fly to me in the PC room for over a week, how long will YS take to fly to me in a strange hall.

I do need to use a harness. YS must accept a harness before he can be taken out. Today was the start of the introduction of harness to him. Except the harness was not even designed not to talk about being made.

I will start with Plan A, followed by Plan B if Plan A failed. Except I have not the slightest clue about Plan A. I will grope about in the dark for elements of Plan A.

But thankfully, I do have another 24 letters in the alphabet and thus that many more plans to try out.

I had thin light ribbons from my wife beading hobby.

YS need to be used to those ribbons. Pieces of ribbons were cut and placed on all his perches and likely perches to get YS familiar with that for a few days.

Touch targetting was always carried out. Eventually, I hoped to use TT to get him to stick his head into a loop, and to get use to short durations with loop around his neck. If that worked, then I design and make that harness. Not much point to do that any earlier.

At 2 pm, his MM was weighed to be 38.1 gm. YS was then weighed at 32.6 gm. I decided not to add MM because he was heavy. BUT, I gave him two succulent cricket. The MM was important because its composition would give him the minerals and calcium and plant/animal proteins, fat and vitamins. But the MM was energy rich and build up his weight very fast. Since the crickets and suris and millis were feed on mash based on Tinkerbell mash, they will be good food for YS. At a bird group, I joined in a discussion on a mash (green beans, red rice, corn )those people thought of making for their parrots. I gave them the recipe for the mash I was making for the suris and millis and crickets and said that my crickets and suris were fed better (but it is true!) than their parrots. I am sorry and felt so hapless when they turned so frosty at me.

The crickets will fill his stomach but add less weight than MM. From what I
gave my crickets to eat, they will be nutritious too.

Immediately after the 2 crickets, YS was at 33.4 gm.

I then went for lunch and on to my gym. By staying away. I was less likely to give YS food.

At 630 pm, the MM was at 37.9 gm. YS was at 32.5 gm. I topped up the MM to 38.2 gm. But I waited until YS slept at 730 pm before I placed the MM into his cage for his breakfast.


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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