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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

Ben trying it with his shama // getting more goodwill credit with YS

I like to place here an exchange made on http://www.pets.com.sg/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=9

You may not see it as something wonky is happening in my thread there. I (and presumably you) can only see those letters when I do a reply on that thread and then all those letters will pop out.

But I like especially to introduce you to Benjamin whose letter is below and my reply to him. And I hope you folks also try it with your shama


13th February 2006 02:52 PM


Originally Posted by flyinmysoup
Dude, your shama is really beyond what Asian song birds have done man...... I can really tell you're enjoying yourself lots with him! Good for you mate!

end quote


Please remember that what I have done to date can be done by any of you. And I do hope I am not the only one ever to do so with a shama. All you need is that bit more love and care and understanding with your bird. You all see for yourselves the rewards and fun that can be yours.

I left behind daily reports of everything that I have done including my mistakes my thoughts so folks who like to follow and do even better can do so.

What you have seen to date is the intermediate stage.

We will see how it will be like in the weeks and months to come.


17 Feb 05 01:01 PM

hey bro!

after reading yr writeups on yr journal and this forum, i've decided to give my shama a try by closing every possible exit and letting him out of the cage.

to my surprise, this bird isn very afraid of me, probably its because its being kept from a baby. he'll actually accept live food from me even to the extend of perching on my hand.

however some problem i face are his aggression towards me and being reluctant to come out of the cage.

for aggression, he'll simply bite my hand and wont let go as if i'm another shama when feeding. and being so tame, i've tried almost every to lure him out of a cage but to no avail. the only way is to play a recorded shama call from my phone to lure him out. after he's got out, he'll attack the phone and my hands. after finishing his "great exploit" he'll continue to sing a little but remain offensive.

so i was wondering if u can give me some pointers to take note while training this bird. thks!

17 Feb 05 07:21 PM


That is wonderful news from you! I am very happy that I am not alone in this. Your letter, and this letter, will be copied into my blog to encourage other people around the world to try as well.

Since I start from a database of just one shama, I have this hesitation of telling you how to proceed. As I know now just how intelligent Yingshiong can be, I have to accept intelligent birds may just have very different personalities as well. So you may need to adapt what I have done to your shama (what is his name?).

If you recalled at the beginning with YS, even with the sliding door opened, he was so reluctant to fly past that to me. Everytime, there was this 'invisible barrier' that I had to keep persuading him to cross. Even when into the apartment, it was a long time before I got him to cross those 'invisible barriers' one at a time.

Your shama viewed his cage as his 'secured area'. I can understand his reluctance to come out of it. Your playing of recorded shama call, and I must presume that to be territorial call with wagging of tails, triggered his aggression enough to come out of the cage to attack your phone and then your hand. When he got out of the cage, he might have been in a state of fear. Combined with the initial urge caused by that song you played, he became aggressive. That aggression might have been from fear.

Can I suggest you use a different recording of the soft song. You can use the songs I recorded, not the territorial song. He might be intrigued enough to come out to investigate but not triggered into territorial mode. Or even better, leave the cage door open and let him be out naturally. It took a while on my part before YS came out on his own from his cage.

I suggest you should prepared a flight room, a room that you can be with him. A small room will allow him to get comfortable faster. It is important to start with a small room first for the training, allowing him to apartment after you taught him recalls.

When you are into training, that must be combined with food management. If your shama does not come to you on recall, it will be difficult for you to chase and catch it.

"YingShiong showing off and 0.1 gram accuracy weighing scale"

It is too easy to overdo the food management and caused starvation IF YOU DO NOT USE WEIGHING SCALE. THE SCALE WILL NOT LIE. Observations of him is not enough.

Please get into Tinkerbell Legacy and read what I have written on clicker training. You may find that useful in addition to what I wrote on Yingshiong.

You need suitable treats for your shama. I have got lots of millis that YS loved and presumably, so will your shama. If you are going to train your shama, I will be happy to give you enough millis for you to rear and use as treats for your shama. I can also give you a starting culture of suris.

I have maybe 30 clickers at home as my wife bought me a bag of them. I will be happy to give you two or three of them.

Send me a private message with your phone number. You can then come over to pick up the millis, suris and clickers and say hello to Yingshiong.



1015 am

I decided not to try that harness today. That might be very disturbing to Yingshiong despite the painstaking preparations. He seemed to have forgiven me already yesterday. But I thought I build up up brownie points with him, getting more goodwill credit with YS. I will need that and more to get past his irritation. I rather hope the harness will be an ongoing affair with YS and not a one time thing.

I focused more on the handling of YS. So when I opened that sliding door for YS and he flew onto the fan, he was greeted by the milli and a backrub from me. Then the body squeeze. Then I went to get my breakfast and coffee. After which was yet more back rubs and body squeeze. Then it was the weighing.

YS was at 32.1 // MM at 38.0 // milli at 25.0 // no suris or crickets

Then we were back at the fan for his backrubs and body squeeze. I also dangled the harness next to him when he was feeding from the milli. I wanted to take him down to 31.0 gm for tomorrow morning weight, where I will try to place that harness on.

Then the various recalls were done. I allowed him only 1 or 2 millis, as against the 4 -5 millis for each recalls before. For the voilational recalls, he got more . And back again to the fan for back rubs and body squeezes. The milli was at 24.3.

The usual break was taken. In due cause, he flew to the bedroom. With the slightly lower weight, and less millis per treat, he was more responsive to recall cues.

Later, I was rather pleased that he did and IH recall from the PC room when I walked past the door carrying only millis. He even did a few of the 'almost but not quite' hs recalls.

I was pleased at 1215 pm, YS was at 32.6 and the milli at 23.4

At 145 pm, YS was at 32.9 and milli at 22.3

Just before I left for the gym at 245, YS was at 32.6 and I decided that he be given a 1 gm succulent cricket. At 6 when I got back, YS was at 32.4 gm. With a bit more training and treats, at 630, YS was at 32.6 and the milli at 21.6


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

MM - mixed mash , from YSM 60%, Claus (food for insectivore birds)
20% and Sinlin 20% (local commercial food for shama)

YSM - Read "making of Yingshiong mash"

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""

Yingshiong songs are in

She made more toys and took photos of those new toys for YS and the way YS was playing with them.

You can see that in folders

Yingshiong beady toys


The descriptions and captions of those photos will be lost if you use the slideshow, so it may be better if you see those photos one at a time.

If you liked the photos of Tinkerbell and Taiwan, most of those photos were taken by Joy with my camera.

For even more photos ot Tinkerbell and Taiwan, you should check out Joy's other folders in


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