March 7th, 2006

Harness for Trish - and to Michelle and other readers here

m_s_cooper commented

Thanks for posting about Tinkerbell and YS. My Timneh Grey is flighted also, but he refuses thus far to be harnessed, and I haven't invented anything for him, so he has to go in a carrier/bjorn when we take our walks. Maybe we'll try harnessing in the summer.

Take care,


Hi Michelle,

The last few days I was involved in discussions in the Free Flight list with
Trish on harness usage. The material is within Tinkerbell webpages and Tinkerbell Legacy. You might be interested in this discussions that I am going to archive here as well.

You also understand better what is meant when I said I go do my thing in PC room and on Internet.


From: "shanlung9" <>
Date: Thu Mar 2, 2006 7:24 pm
Subject: Re: newby questions -harness for parrots shanlung9
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--- In, rex <rex@...> wrote:
> shanlung9 <shanlung9@...> [2006-03-01 22:29]:
> > I have said enough on harnesses. I might have been talking
> > to the wind for all I know as it seemed that what I wrote about
> > never existed.
> >
> > Must have been figments of my imagination
> Shanlung, new people are unaware of your extensive harness
> experience. Give them a URL.
> I don't know what the best entry point to the extensive material
> posted is, but for the newbie, here's a photo album:
> -rex


The above link will give you a glimpse on using harness on parrots.

You best read this.
"Using Harness"

If you are in disagreement, you need not read further.

But if you are in agreement,
you will find more than you can handle on using of harness on parrots
in Tinkerbell webpage

Especially in Tinkerbell Legacy.

This is not just usage of harness on flighted parrots. A whole
mindset is involved, from your relationship with him/her, to living
in a home with flighted parrot, to the rationale behind the harness,
its material and the training behind the usage of harness.

You can find a shortened condensed account, if I can call that short,

"Harness for flighted parrots - To Nick and folks"


From: "shanlung9" <>
Date: Fri Mar 3, 2006 10:42 am
Subject: Re: newby questions -harness for parrots shanlung9
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--- In, "Trish Koontz" <pbkoontz@...> wrote:
> Thanks so much for all the harness info and photos. I am going to
study it.
> I'm excited!!
> Trish

Sorry for my earlier rant!

I forgot that you are a real newbie and might not have seen my all too
many letters on harness here.

Harness flight is not as easy as you think, and has its share of risks
that you can only minimise and never eliminate.

Feel free to ask if any points I wrote are not clear to you.


From: "Bart Van Hoyweghen" <bart.van.hoyweghen@...>
Date: Fri Mar 3, 2006 3:32 pm
Subject: RE: [Freeflight] Re: newby questions -harness for parrots bvhoyweg
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Make sure you know the dangers of flying with a harness!

Shanlung is a master, but I would not dare to do it, I feel I'm to
sloppy and I will end up with a bird tangled up in a tree


>>> pbkoontz@... 2/03/2006 16:38 >>>
Thanks so much for all the harness info and photos. I am going to study
I'm excited!!


From: "Dorothy Schwarz" <dot@...>
Date: Sat Mar 4, 2006 6:15 pm
Subject: Re: [Freeflight] Re: newby questions -harness for parrots ourartha2001
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Shan Lung pointed out thta I did fly 2 Cags in a harness.
I stopped for the following reasons.
After Casper escaped and flew 8 miles . After he came home and I flew him in the
harness, he would fly up fast as if he wanted to be free and be pulled back by
the pressure to the ground or my hand. It was an unpleasant experience. for both
of us
Secondly I never 'felt' Artha enjoyed flying in a harness. She would fly to a
branch, the roof the garage roof whatever I asked her and fly down to command
about 25 feet. It is hard to explain you would have to see a video. I never felt
she enjoyed it.

MY harness now are 2 metres long enough for the birds to fly to a gate or
something to relieve themselves. .

Artha can get out of any harness so far used home made or commercial including
ones with keyrings or fishing clips. She has taught Casper how to undo bulldog

That said Shan Lung trained Tinkerbelle and the photos are amazing.
Whether or not you use the harness for the bird to fly, if you have a bird that
wears one it and enjoys going out they are marvellous gadgets. Good luck.
If you follow Shan Lungs route he has documented it meticulously
Don't take this discussion off list!!!

Even though I don't dare to attempt this myself, it does not mean
you're on the wrong track.

Chris Biro started freeflying by using a harness. He now feels it is
no longer necessary (he calls it "using crutches" now).

But if it is what you need to gain confidence, go ahead!

Shanlung is the resident master of flying with a harness, he'll give
you advice. I just tried to give you another side. I feel this list
has a duty to point out also the risk. And other can learn from your
attempts. So I suggest you come back with a report of how it goes,
this list will try to give you feedback.

Again, this subject is on topic, so don't run away. I'll back you up
if people oppose, you have my vote.


--- In, "Trish Koontz" <pbkoontz@...> >
>You can email off list if it bothers those who are dead set against
>harness training.


From: "shanlung9" <>
Date: Sat Mar 4, 2006 12:16 pm
Subject: Re: newby questions -harness for parrots shanlung9
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I hope we get along well despite my starting off wrongly with you.
It must have been bad batch of coffee I had in the morning.

I might be your only guide on this particular road. There are others
such as Dot who use a harness to take her greys out. I am the only
one here who flew a parrot consistently with a harness and line.

I can be your guide on this list. Unfortunately, I may be your only
meaningful guide on harness usage to fly parrots here, or elsewhere.

There are none dead set against harness usage here but some have
misgivings based on what they have seen on the blunders they
witnessed. They have your interest (or rather , your YNA interest) at
heart. Heck! anyone who want to fly a parrot in any fashion must be
warned and frightened to scare off anyone who want to do it on

Flying parrot out in the open , on harness or not on harness, is
serious and life and death situation that you must be clear minded

Think of the decades ahead for you and your YNA (what is her name

So do it real slow.

Wonderful as your acres of meadows are, forget about that for the
time being, that will be at a later stage.

If you have not done so, reading Tinkerbell Legacy should be your
first major step. That is a road map for living with flighted parrot
and using harness on flighted parrots. That is intertwined.

The physical harness is the secondary harness to reassure you that
your parrot will not fly off to the distant horizon.

The primary and main harness is the mental bond and the comfortness
between you and your parrot. You gain that primary harness only in
living with your flighted parrot at home and interactions, and not
the kind of interactions of "I look at you , and you look at me".

If you are not into clicker training, that should be your next
priority. Read the section in Tinkerbell Legacy on clicker training
followed by the section in recall training.

Since you have acres of meadows, you also should have a huge barn.

Your YNA must recall to you on consistent basis at home. You must do
that again in a safe large enclosed space such as your barn or gym.

Then we talk on harness, always taking very small step at a time.

Question me here on this list on any points I written or on anything
that you care to. My answer to you will also be the answer to all.
They will be another layer of protection for you in case I write
rubbish. I will protect you from them in case their dire warnings
are rubbish too.

And if you are still sane from the arguments, you will decide on what
to believe and what to do.

I found more potholes on this particular road than you can imagine.
You need not stumble on those potholes, you might not be as lucky as
I was.


--- In, "Trish Koontz" <pbkoontz@...>
> I have several acres in open meadow that I mow several
times/summer. I am
> going to take it very slowly but this is something I think I want
to try –
> more study is necessary first. I will heed the warnings absolutely
to the T
> and appreciate all of them – please keep it up. My YNA and I have a
> relationship and we are very responsive to each other. She allows
> handling for all husbandry, etc. so I think I can condition her to
> harnes with patience. Any experiences that others have had will be
> You can email off list if it bothers those who are dead set against
> training.
> Trish


From: "shanlung9" <>
Date: Sun Mar 5, 2006 1:53 pm
Subject: Re: harness process-Shanlung shanlung9
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I did warn you that you will have flak and dire warnings coming your
way. Chris already fired his bolt, but I guess JD is taking a bye for
the moment.

With those warnings from Chris and Dot, you understand why I stressed
the physical harness is only the secondary harness.
The PRIMARY harness must be the bond and comfortness and
understanding that MUST exist between you and Lulu first.

I have been stating that long long time ago , even before Chris and
others come along with their dire dire warnings.

I am happy for all those warnings from others. You may have read
what you want to read from mine and missed out on my own dire

You understand why for my system to work, you must live with your
parrot in the same space, not separated by cage or aviary. YOUR VERY
HOUSE MUST BE THE AVIARY. That is more comfortable than you living in
the cage or the aviary for your parrot.

I am sorry with all the step by step photos that you still find a
problem understanding Tinkerbell harness. Perhaps you cannot make
yourself to believe that Tinkerbell harness is truly that easy, and
you are looking for complications which do not exist. Get your hubby
to read and look at the design. Tinkerbell harness is the closest
you get to an escape proof harness, not those *spit* commercial
harnesses that have true worth of a dime a dozen. Even less value
than a dime, no one can pay me enough to use that on Tinkerbell or on
any bird in my charge.

I plagiarised an extract from that "harness for Nick and folks" below


I cannot recommend any of the harnesses that are now being sold
commercially. Even if you do not intend your bird to fly with them,
they have very serious design flaws.

I just list some of them.

1. They are stiff and uncomfortable for your bird. Even if they
tolerate the harness at the beginning, in time, they will not allow
you to put them on. I bought Kaylor harness. Tink was ok the first
time. Each time met greater and greater resistance and after 6
times, I gave up trying. Until Tink flew away on the free flight, I
had to rethink seriously harness again.

2. Some of the harness uses elastic which can stretch. In flight,
especially spooked flights, that may lead to their release.

3. The commercial harnesses relied on small teensy buckles that are
difficult to put on. It is not likely that your bird will tolerate
for long the fiddling that you need to do to put them on

4 . Correct fitting is of paramount importance. As CAGS ranged from
300 grams to 500+ grams, it is not possible one size fits all even
just in that one species. You must size your own harness to your own
bird. Or do you wish to rely on "one size fits all"?

4. All of them uses the spring loaded thingy wingy to latch the
leash to the harness. That may be satisfactory for dogs and cats or
even ferrets. Now, after Tink got the hang of it, she undid those
spring loaded thingy wingy in half second flat. I was walking on a
mountain road shrouded in mist when I heard that 'click' and realised
the leash was hanging down from my hand. You can read that full
account in
' More development of Tink harness during trip to Alishan mountain'

You do not want that happening to you. Can you allow the safety of
your beloved fids on those devices? Can you hope that they are so
much more stupid than Tink that they cannot figure out how to open
those thingy wingy?

I cannot but stress how shocked I am that those kind of fastenings
are used for for all harnesses for parrots

You need not do the design. I did the design, tested at each stage
by Tinkerbell and finally refined to the stage I can do that easily
even though I dunno how to sew.

All you need is either a nice thick shoelace or the soft lanyard that
you hang your mobile phone on and the high tech Dyneema braided
fishing line that I recommend using. That same fibre is used for
bullet proof vest and stronger than Kevlar. Do not use monofilament
as braided lines are much more flexible and resistant to abrasion.

If you are worried that your parrot or macaw or alex chew through
those shoelace or lanyard, thread a couple of Dyneema fishing line
through the center or the shoelace/lanyard for security.

I wrote on my design in detail together with URL pointers to step by
step photos. The most important part is the principle of it.


Here are also some letters written in Jan this year here that you
should read


From: "shanlung9" <shanlung9@...>
Date: Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:09 pm
Subject: Re: Free flying - it gets more complicated -jd (and all
others too)


Thanks folks, I do feel a lot more better now. Even if my
advice on durians fell on closed hearts and deaf ears, APPROPRIATE
harness usage can still be considered as not some evil purple thingy
to sprinkle holy water against.

Chris, if you have not read my writings, I always said harness and
line is an intermediate stage before total free flight. And that

Either you are as good as Chris (and that is YOU) and need no harness
or you are as bad as me (that is ME) and need to use a harness"

But then Taiwan mountains and country are so out of this world and
so hauntingly beautiful. Despite my constant travels in Taiwan.
there are still 70% of areas I had not been to yet.

I know more of the real dangers of harness than the imagined dangers
that people who had not used them can conjure.

Harness usage on flying birds is never to be taken lightly. I have
such a paranoia approach that my writings on harness are more on
warnings than how to use and make it. To the extent how to make the
harness had been complained about as 'invisible' and 'never found'.

People only see what they want to see. My main worry is that people
immediately go and buy a commercial harness where 'one size fits all'
without the understanding to use it. Some of those commercial
harness are so loaded with hardware and spring loaded thingies that
they can be given as a Christmas present to the ghost of Jacob Marley
to be dragged and clanged about.

If anyone think that harness usage is easy from what I had done, that
was because I wrote only the outings, and a little bit of the very
involved training BEFORE the harness and DURING the harness itself.

If you do suffer from insomnia, and if you have not done so, read
the daily reports I am making into the training of Yingshiong the
shama. That actually reflected on the daily training I had with
Tinkerbell, as involved as that on Yingshiong, but never recorded.

Perhaps you have more respect for Barbara Heidenreich. She
recognised that me and Tinkerbell was not just a stuffing of Tink
into a harness but an involved process of painstaking training and

See what she said in

(by the way, that grey in the photo wore a harness that should be
gifted to the ghost of Jacob Marley)

To answer JD question, I can only extract a portion of a letter
written here which he did not read.

That letter is "Harness to Nick and folks" , an extremely long letter
even by my standard and sure cure for insomnia.

That was posted into FreeFlight in June 10, 2005 or thereabouts.

( Chris and JD, the first paragraph seems familiar to you?)

The extract.

She rarely snag the line. Even when she did, I wrote in detail how to
handle those snagged lines which seemed never to be read , or read
and disbelieved in, or read and totally forgotten as snagging in
trees pop up now and again as a snug reason as to why harness should
not be used.

Yes, the other reason against harness is that 'they hit a brick wall'
when they reached the end of the line. I am sorry for plagiarising
from what I have written before but I thought I gather that into this
letter as well as it is going out to all groups.

We need not worry so much about the flying to the end and the jerk.

In all the 'end of line' encounters with Tinkerbell, she just kind of
swivel onto a new direction. None of those 'hitting a brick wall'

I wondered over that before and decided it was a matter of applied

First of all, our arm holding the line, the line, and her body all
a certain 'looseness' and give to them. The jerk is not an
abrupt 'hitting of brick wall'.

When they fly, their center of gravity , CG, is not and never will be
at the point of tether to the harness. To be more explicit, that CG
will be at the point of tether if that tether can be threaded
physically through the heart. The stop will then be abrupt, but then,
with the tether through the heart, you need not worry about her
fast or even flying at all.

That meant the CG is off-set away from the line. The point of
attachment of the tether to the harness acts as a hinge. So when the
end of line is reached, the body kind of rotate around onto a new

Tinkerbell knew it. There had been many times she deliberately flew
the end of the line away from me to twist at the end to fly in big
circles a few times before returning back to me again.


I know I flew Tink near trees and even in and among trees. I cannot
advise people to do what we had done, or they should reflect that the
training and bonding that Tink and I did together to do that must be
acheived by you before you wish to try that.

They forgot we did that for a long time far far away from trees
before we went into the trees.

And as for JD and his horror of horrors of flying near utility posts,
can I humbly suggest to JD he should find an area away from utility
posts? It may be less painful for him to stand under a fruiting
durian tree.

But if JD insist on flying anything on line around utility posts, my
rememberance to him will be an entry of his deed for the Darwin
awards to join the other illustrous nominees there.



From: "shanlung9" <shanlung9@...>
Date: Sat Jan 14, 2006 2:42 pm
Subject: it gets more complicated -jd (and all others too) and now to

--- In, "Chris Biro" <chrisbiro@s...>
> Hello Shanlung,
> > Chris, if you have not read my writings, I always said harness and
> > line is an intermediate stage before total free flight. And that
> You and I will always disagree over RECOMMENDING the use of a
harness. This
> does not mean that you do not caution people about a harness'
dangers or
> that I claim a harness has no value in training. We disagree over
the issue
> of if the use of a harness is worth taking the risks associated
with using a
> harness. You say the harness is worth taking those risks, I say the
> are too great to make the use worth taking. This of course does not
> that I do not value your participation on the list. You are not the
> person that holds a position on the list that I disagree with. I
think the
> ability to disagree and still hold polite conversation about the
subject is
> part of what makes this list so valuable. Your position about the
use of a
> harness SHOULD be stated on this list and mine should also, thus
giving the
> reader the ability to decide for themselves.

Using of harness definately has its risks, especially done by people
who are out for a quick-fix to their unwillingness to train and
unpreparedness to find out more and the usage of utterly ill designed
harnesses commercially available.

Many times I sat on my hands and read in dismay at the stuff I read
on harnesses for parrots ( in here and other lists including non

I thought of keeping quiet, but then the thought of people like JD
coming along with advice to them compelled me to try to save the
baby while others are admiring or cursing the bath waters.

The harness and leash (a proper well designed and fitted to your
parrot, which exclude any commercial harnesses) is appropriate to
familiarise your parrot to the surroundings that you intend to free
fly her/him in.


For such familiarisation, the leash must be kept short AND

> > I know more of the real dangers of harness than the imagined
> > that people who had not used them can conjure.
> Just wanting to clarify here, that I am NOT stating "imagined
> associated with use of a harness. I once used a tether and some
crude jesses
> and had one of my birds become entangled in a tree. Luckily for us,
she was
> entagled low enough that I could reach her by setting up a ladder
on the
> roof of my truck. But the experience was enough to show me how
easily such
> accidents can happen. And having recovered enough loose parrots, I
have seen
> birds in some trees that would simply impossible to recover the
bird from. I
> have also watched experienced bird people let a pet parrot sit
unattended on
> a T perch with a loose tether attached to them. All the bird needed
to do
> was become startled and fly off and it and the tether could have
been in a
> tree beyond reach. So just to be clear, I do not consider these
> to represent "imagined dangers".


Your 'experienced bird people' may be experienced in keeping birds.
They do not seemed to be that experienced in keeping birds outside
if they let their pet parrot sit unattended in the open. Why do
such 'experienced' people bother to tether the parrot and allow the
other end to be loose?

If people do bungee jumping by attaching bungee to their feet and
forgetting to attach the other end and ended up as a smear on the
ground, are we going on to blame the bungee?

I rather study that smear, the bungee and note the end was not tied
and advice all other future jumpers to make sure and doubly sure the
ends are tied, and that they use the correctly designed bungees.
Even so, I still will tell them that there are risks with bungee
jumpings as there are risks with harness usage on flighted parrots.

There are also risks in clipping the wings.

I plagiarised a portion from my extremely long letter that tried to
summarise all you need to know on harness usage on parrots

That extract


The assumption people made that as their parrots are clipped they
cannot fly away. This assumption is so seriously wrong that it is
painful to me.

It is not much use to test if the clip is sufficient. Most likely
the test depended more on seeing a calm bird can fly or not. If
calm, even a bird not clipped and is a flier as well just will not
fly away.

So that clipped parrot may glide or flap the wings and flap and glide
a longer distance. Those pseudo 'tests' give people false sense of
confidence and thereby dropping their guard totally.

And those owners in their ignorant bliss pet themselves on their
backs and nod that their birds have wonderful clips and is safe and
cannot fly away.

BUT, in times of stress and when the bird is spooked, they will fly
away. Those people have never seen the power of a bird that is
spooked. They never can test their clipped parrots when they are
spooked, by a car horn going off suddenly, by a sudden gust of wind,
by a dog barking, by that lady walking past with a strange hat, and
they think all is 'safe'.

I reckoned more clipped parrots have been lost then flighted parrots.


As for snagging on trees, I have had better experience than you. Even
so, the harness that I designed will come loose with one cut on the
body leash as that hold in place the body strap.

It is also paramount the main line MUST be free of splice and knots.
This enabled the line to run freely and not be caught in branches.
If caught by tree, the line between the bird and the caught branch be
located and brought down to you. It is thus essential that the line
MUST be long, even if you do not chose to use its entire length. You
need the spare length to dis-entangle from branches.


> > People only see what they want to see. My main worry is that
> > immediately go and buy a commercial harness where 'one size fits
> > without the understanding to use it. Some of those commercial
> > harness are so loaded with hardware and spring loaded thingies
> > they can be given as a Christmas present to the ghost of Jacob
> > to be dragged and clanged about.
> You are such a great author! This is a wonderful picture you paint
here LOL.
> > If anyone think that harness usage is easy from what I had done,
> > was because I wrote only the outings, and a little bit of the very
> > involved training BEFORE the harness and DURING the harness
> Yes training is the key. But that has also been my second point
about the
> use of a harness, that using training you can avoid the use of a
harness and
> thus avoid the risks associated with its use. I don't understand
the desire
> to spend all this time TRAINING the use of a harness when you could
> TRAINING for flight without a harness. Look at how long you have
used a
> harness. That to me seems to suggest that the harness CAN become a
> substitute for training flight or adequate recall response. I know
you had a
> frightful experience with Tink but those kinds of experiences can
be part of
> this training if you move too quickly or focus on the wrong areas.
> Of course it is not my place to decide what is best for you to do.
And I am
> sure that what ever approach you take, your accounts of them will
> valuable to this list.

Training is the key. Without the advice and guidance from you and
others during my beginning, I would not be where I am now.

Together with the advice and guidance from others since then, I have
taken a road that branched off from yours. Those people are my bird
whisperer friend from Tsaoling and Joe who feed unidentified meat
with jewelry to his tigers. I took what I can and where I can.

Since you do not read long letters that I have written in the past, I
need to describe something of myself from those letters that you
might have missed.

My inclination is very different from yours. My pen name, Shanlung,
is chinese for Mountain Dragon, and chosen because I love to roam
about in mountains, in Tibet, Yunnan, etc before I even went to
Taiwan. Taiwan with its massive mountain ranges and forests are
where I spend much of my spare time.

Tinkerbell was my companion and daughter that me and my wife wanted
to share that kind of travels with. If you have not seen my
photographs, you cannot imagine how rugged those places are. Those
are not places that you want to free fly in.

Nothing that you and others taught could prepare any unrestrained
parrot to travel alongside those places we travelled, short of
stuffing them into a carrier cage. We were out many times from dawn
to dusk. Since there were so many places, to go to just one place to
be that familiar enought to free fly with meant the other places had
to be forfeited.

So what I chose to do was deliberately chosen. We could not spend
enough time in a place to take that harness off during our travels.
The only place the harness was off was around the apartment and at
home (and in hotels and inns we stayed in).

There are many others who might just want to take their parrots
(flighted or clipped) out with them safely to other beautiful and
unfamiliar places. A well designed and properly fitted harness and

You have written privately to me, and I appreciate that of you and I
hope you do not mind me writting that here , that one of your fears is
"simply because I lack faith in the average person's ability
to keep their bird out of trouble."

My view is different from yours, but not that much, as I have little
faith in the average person's ability to keep their bird out of

It is so easy to get things wrong that at times, I am fearful of
talking of harness usage. If people cannot even find the directions
how to make the harness in my writings, it may be even more likely
they wrongly interpret what they might read.

If from what they read of me and intepret flying with harness is
dangerous and difficult but can be done, then I have gone some way in
passing the baton to them, the way you and others passed it to me in
my beginning.

If I convinced you that 'flying with harness is dangerous and
difficult but can be done,' then that is a bonus I did not expect but
will be happy for.

From: "shanlung9" <shanlung9@...>
Date: Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:37 pm
Subject: Re: Starting flight training with young B&G - harness

--- In ff, "Brian " <bscvlc@h...>
> Do you think it would be too soon to starte to take her outside in
an harnes
> for brief sessions or maybe even to the old factory where I plan to
let her
> learn to fly in more open space?
> From everything I have read it is my impression that the earlier
you start
> the better, but I don´t really now how to get on with this since
she is not
> responding to food rewards.
> How do you train recall with a bird that will fly to you all the
time, even
> though you don´t call her?
> Any suggestions would be apreciated.
> Brian.

Brian, you are right in that the earlier the better.

But also remember you got so many more years ahead of you that it
will be best you do not rush at the beginning.

One thing for sure, you must not attempt to fly with harness PRIOR to
flight in enclosed areas such as your factory.

She MUST be flown a few times in enclosed areas before you even think
of flying her in harness. You can take her out to be familiar with
the area PROVIDED that the leash is short and ALWAYS CARABINERED TO

And harness is a generic name. There are horrors out there in the
*spit* commercial harnesses where they believed in *one size fits
all*. Failing that, they then persuade you that buckles , bows,
bells and whistles and all stuff short of the kitchen sink can be
used to *adjust* that harness to size.

Harness flying has its risks. Those risks can only be minimised with
understanding of the harness, the material used and the conditions
and prior training.

You want the best harness, one that you understand and make yourself
and fitted exactly to your parrot.

Will you go bungee jumping with bungee cords instead of using the
right kind of bungees used for bungee jumping? Such as below?

You want to do the same with the harness for her?



Bungee Jumper
1997 Darwin Awards Runner-Up
Confirmed True by Darwin
(13 July 1997, Virginia) Eric A. Barcia, a 22-year-old Reston, VA
resident, was found dead yesterday after he used bungee cords to jump
off a 70-foot railroad trestle, police said.

The fast food worker taped a number of bungee cords together and
strapped one end around his foot. Barcia had the foresight to anchor
the other end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park, and he even
remembered to measure the length of the bungee cords to make sure
that they were a few feet short of the 70 foot drop. He proceeded to
fall headfirst from the trestle, and hit the pavement 70 feet below
several seconds later.

Fairfax County police said "The stretched length of the cord that he
had assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and
the ground." Perhaps the deceased fast food worker should have stuck
to the line, "Do you want fries with that?" © 1994 - 2006
Submitted by Basil Trikas
Reference: Washington Pos


--- In, "Trish Koontz" <pbkoontz@...>
> Shanlung,
> Thank you for the encouraging email and offer of help. I accept! I
> almost all of your online journal last night ?yes, was up until
very late
> but enthralled! I have to say that I think you are very clever with
> instructions/photos for making a harness but I am definitely do NOT
get it.
> I ordered the Kaylor harness today because I have to start somewhere
> training LuLu (my YNA) to wear the harness. Oh yes, I do use clicker
> training ?you can see LuLu on the home page for clickbirds!! She is
> current ambassadoress for the training group and I am very proud of
> Visit this link to see her: HYPERLINK
> "
> d-Click/
> Anyway, the 2nd flight clipped feather is now in (not showing in
that photo)
> and waiting on third. She has begun short flights from hand to
perch, hand
> to cage, perch to me, etc. ?working on the cues you and others
> She knows many many cues and works great for rewards + loves
training. She
> flew before and remebers the freedom, I can just see her
excitement! I can't
> wait for full flight now that I know how to train (still a big
novice though
> and taking all advice from pros on the lists and reading material
> yours). My plan is not quite what you recommend. I plan to take
LuLu out
> with the harness before she learns recall free in a large building.
I will
> take her to my office, friends house, etc. ?small enclosed spaces
> harness on for practice with harness travel. She will NOT be
trusted with
> only harness from house to car, etc. ?that is too scary when you
read about
> all the birds who have escaped from harness. However, she loves to
meet new
> people and loves getting out ?right now it is always in a cage
which is
> very cumbersome for me and not too great for her. Also, a few
> including me, are looking for a building to fly (no good barn on my
> property). Anyway, I am taking baby steps. I guess I will be better
able to
> follow your harness instructions after I get the Kaylor one and see
how it
> works. Hope so but I don't?have an engineer brain, that is for
sure ;-)
> All advice is so very appreciated.
> Trish


From: "shanlung9" <>
Date: Sun Mar 5, 2006 5:11 pm
Subject: Re: Trish Koontz: Harness step by step making of Shanlung's Tink shanlung9
Send Email


Your harness should be presented to that ghost of Jacob Marley.

Commercial harness uses those cordings suitable also to hold a
charging rhinocerous. They tell you those harness are 'bite-proof'.
Sure ! After making them uncomfortable to the parrots to start with
(using their one size fits all) , then making them hard and stiff.
One of the many reasons I spit on them.

Will you wear a lanyard made of those material to hang your handphone
on your neck? And be prepared and willing to force your parrot to
wear one of those? And complain that your parrot is very unhappy but
you are happy enought to continue to force him/her to wear?

I do not have Tinkerbell harness with me now, but I got the lanyard
of the handphone similar to what I used for Tink.

That lanyard weighs in at 4.5 grams and about 2/3 of that lanyard
will go into the entire harness. Tink harness will be about 3 grams
of weight. I do not know the weight of the fishing line which is
about 0.6 mm Dyneema bullet proof grade material. That line cannot
be that heavy. Tink flew to me in cross winds that made the line
vibrate and hum so loudly just before I gave her to cue to come.

And Tink harness is about as escape proof as can be. That escape
proof is build into the design itself and not adhoc chewing gum and
sealing wax and spring loaded thingy wingy afterthought add-ons.

The harness for Yingshiong my shama is 0.6 grams in case you thought
of asking but did not ask.


I never directly point the pointers to the harness design. That was
deliberately done so by me. I always point them to what I wrote on
harness training and my thoughts of using harness. The URLs to the
design are embedded and can be found in those other writings such
as "harness for Nick and folks".

That way, I tried my best to make them read the preparation, the
training and the mindset of harness usage before they get to the

The primary harness of bond and trust and the training to get not
just the parrot, more importantly will be the person him/herself,
need to be read much more than the details of actual harness making

My fear is that they just make the harness, stuff the parrot inside
and see that failed and come wailing back here that Tink harness
design failed them.

Their entire mindset must be changed prior to good harness usage, or
they will be exactly the cases that Chris Biro had described why he
is not in favour of harness usage.

And yes, I read all your Seram reports. I am envious of you on those
trips. Those places are definately in my list of places to get me
and Joy to.


--- In, "Dorothy Schwarz" <dot@...> wrote:
> shan Lung
> what is the weight of your harness when fully made up.
> I weighed the commercial ones at 350 grams. My homemade ones at 150
grams. My friend uses commercial on her 400 gram Cag with nom
problem. Commercial are useless for Artha they weight oo much and she
undoes them
> Dot
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: ARCancilla3@...
> To:
> Cc: pbkoontz@...
> Sent: Sunday, March 05, 2006 6:42 AM
> Subject: [Freeflight] Trish Koontz: Harness step by step making
of Shanlung's Tink
> Ciao Trish ,
> Shanlung has great sequential photos of the making of Tink's
harness ....
> step by step and I printed out each and every photo on the
website ....but
> alas I did not save it on my computer ..but I know Shanlung can
show you how
> to get directly to the right website place to find it fast to
learn the
> harness making can then ask about anything you need more
clarity with ,
> which it wonderful because more of us here can
learn ..LOL ...his pictures are
> breathtaking too!
> He does not know it ...but I am going to kidnap him and Joy one
of these
> days and take them with me to Seram and West Papua with Project
Bird Watch
> ....( Hey Mountain Dragon you listening, my
friend? ............."Be afraid
> very afraid" )
> Ciao, Angela Cancilla Herschel, ,Taz ,Blue&Gold macaw (B&G),
Crimson, Green


From: "shanlung9" <>
Date: Mon Mar 6, 2006 9:58 am
Subject: Re: harness process-Shanlung shanlung9
Send Email


You will find your bond will get stronger and stronger. Even more so
when you take her out to those magical places near and far that you
have enjoyed.

In a large enclosed building, or semi free flight, your Lulu
is safe (you make sure all the perimeters of the hall is sealed and
safe from exit).

This is training for you , more than for Lulu. Parrots are empaths,
and if you have not encounter her flight in large area before, you
will be scared to bits. Your fear in turn will trigger her fear too.
This will help reassure you more than her that she will return to you.
Remeber, one key point of taking her out in harness that you must
always act to her as if she is not wearing harness in first place.
You need to locate and calm those palpitations in your heart first.


Do not do this with her on a full stomach before those semi free
flights. You like her to be attracted to your treats and not sitting
up there on a rafter in perverse pleasure looking down at your
anguished pleas below, but then , maybe Lulu is a better brought up
girl than my Tinkerbell. If not, bring a book with you and be
prepared to wait for her to come to you.

Do read the stuff I wrote in "semi free flights" in Part 1 of
Tinkerbell webpage.

You must have seen also the exchanges between me and Dot on the
weight of Tinkerbell harnesses. I know my harness is light, but even
so, the weight of those *spit* commercial harnesses Dot wrote about
is shocking to me. The only similarity those harnesses have with
Tinkerbell harness is that h a r n e s s is spelt the same way.

Can you trust those *flimsy* material I used instead of those thick
solid heavy stuff *they* used? That's why you must read
"New harness -& developement of concept while travelling in Taiwan
mountains". Hopefully, you agree with my philosophy that weak can be

You should go into Part 1 and see "tinkerbell wearing harness".

I showed step by step how the harness was fitted onto a bottle so
those elements of Tink harness can be clear. Thats followed by step
by step fitting harness on Tink. You can see I need to use only one
hand to fit that neck loop on Tinkerbell. She would cooperate with
me much much better when my wife was not around pointing a camera at
her shooting those photos and annoying her.


You also have a new game with Lulu now. Take those shoelaces or
phone lanyard and leave them around her. Use that to play peekaboo
with her drapping them around the neck, and across her back.

Laugh with her and make that lots of fun.

Go slow, real slow and give her lots of time. You do have the rest
of forever ahead of the both of you to enjoy taking her out in
something that she will enjoy and will keep her safe.


--- In, "Trish Koontz" <pbkoontz@...>
> Shanlung,
> I am glad you are supporting me. My bond grows daily with my bird
and we
> have much respect for each other. I don't' plan to use the harness
> flight until I feel like I have good recall with her (both free at
home and
> in harness in large building). I know this process will take some
time and I
> am not in a hurry, but she and I are a good learning team so it is
> to think about! BTW, with regard to my confusion on the harness
> construction, my husband is no better than me at visual diagrams.
> he is a very fine veterinary surgeon and very good with tiny knots,
etc. so
> when I get the system figured out , I will instruct him how to make
it for
> me!
> Trish


Shama Yingshiong Chapter 1 ending - my last report


To friends of Yingshiong,

I do hope you enjoyed the time that I have spend with Yingshiong the shama. That a shy timid aviary bird can indeed bond with one that treat him as equal and patient and can be a companion bird. That they deserved more than just being kept in a cage or an aviary.

Do remember that Yingshiong was old when he came to me. You need not go and get a young bird to do what we have done. You can do what I have done or even better from the reports I left behind.

Perhaps I should not have tried it with Yingshiong at all. In which case, no one in the world would have guessed that a shy timid aviary bird is capable of bonding to be a companion bird. Yingshiong also would not have rediscovered flight and entralled all of you with his behaviour , antics , mischief, love, music and most of all, his magic.

In a few days, I will be working and living in another part of the world. With the fear of bird flu, it is obvious I cannot think of taking YS with me. My wife will not be joining me there as there will be restrictions on her there that she will not be used to.

I hope you enjoyed our accounts and will look on your birds with a different light, be their beaks be hook or straight.

I am sorry in the short time I have left, I might not be able to answer any of you. I have many things to arrange in this short time left. But I do not think it right for me to go without a word.

You know I yearned to be back with Tinkerbell. This road I take may lead me indirectly back to her again.

You understand now why I decided not to go ahead and re-attempt with the harness recently. I knew YS will be more receptive the second time. But I knew I would not have the time to follow through. I also had to test out other parameters if YS is to be looked after by my wife Joy. I knew there was this coming change but it was not firm until last night.

I had an agreement with Taufik that if I cannot look after YS, he will go back to him. But in this case, he agreed with me that even without me around, the set up for YS in my apartment with the minimum of the flight room as his aviary, will still be better than YS going back into a round cage. My wife Joy likes and cares for Yingshiong too, even if YS prefers me if I am around.

My wife Joy will be looking after him, and she had looked after him in the flight room and in the apartment when I was not around and windsurfing for a week in Kuantan.

Taufik is also not in Singapore too, so he cannot look after YS either. The option of letting YS to be in a round cage again is impossible to either of us, or to any of you.

In any case, every 3 months, I will be back again to be with my wife and YS. And if the work and life there do not work out for me, I will be back too to be with Joy, Ivan and Yingshiong again.

My wife Joy will be looking after YS and will be reporting on him in his Chapter 2 in her journal starting later after a transitional period.

I will be like the rest of you, logging on to see how YS is getting on, and commenting and helping my wife to look after him.

And now to the last report of today, and the last report that I will be making on this chapter of Yingshiong.

So this morning after Ivan was locked up, I made my way to the kitchen to prepare my coffee. Yingshiong was waiting patiently on the cage door perch. At the sound of my rustling the 3 in 1 coffee bags, he screamed his head off. He sang and scream and sang and scream which woke me up more than the coffee around me. He was used to being let in while I prepared my coffee. He wanted to be let in first, and then I can go fix my coffee and breakfast.

I realised the error of my ways and rushed to him and opened that sliding door. He flew onto the fan and gave an approving look at me to go. I then went back to make my coffee and my breakfast and took it out to have it.

He then indicated to me my procrastinating time was done by flying and going 'chang' at the cabinet a couple of times.

So it was at 845 am that the milli was at 21.2 gm, and YS was at 33.1 gm and suri at 70.2 gm.

The usual play /recall exercises were done. Need I have to tell you folks he did that so well. With head clicking to look at me on his name and instant takeoff to me at come.

Folks, you do understand if my desire to control his weight is a lot less than my desire to give him crickets and suris as my wife have difficulties in handling those shama delicacies. So his treats alternate between millis and suris and small crickets.

He did his own things but will always eventually be with me in the PC room. I mentioned he flew in between the monitor and me if I ignored him too long.

He added a new twist by hovering above my head so his downdraft would tell me he was around. He was determined not to be ignored by me for long. That would stop only if I got up from my chair and he be on the fan waiting for me to twirl fingers or play recall or give him backrubs.

I was still proud of my discipline when by 1215, he was at 33.5 gm

After I came back from lunch, we played a lot more with recalls here , there and everywhere. So that by 630 pm, he was at 34.5 gm. And by 7 pm , he was at 35.4 gm.

I then set my traps for suris and millis. You understand that YS will be fed very well by me over the next few days until I set off for the airport.

I may not love YS the way I love my Tinkerbell. But I have a fondness and very deep regards for him too, that I believe he returned to me as well.

This is another cycle of life.



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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