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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

Riam thumb his nose at me/ flying lunge / double locking that barn door
After I wrote how painful and sharp Riamfada claw were, the best suggestion came from Chiquin of birdtalk.eu in thread http://www.birdtalk.eu/forum/introductions-welcomes/685-tinkerbell-love-flying-cag-taiwan-4.html

He wrote

I use a battery-powered dremel tool with a stone wheel to groom the points on Bobbie's talons.

It goes very quickly; just touch the tip of the claw to the wheel and you can blunt the point without taking off too much.

Since it is such a light, but effective grooming it needs done about every 2-3 weeks. The tradeoff is less stress on us all since it goes so quickly and no risk of bleeding (unless I get bitten when toweling).

In Muscat, I am unlikely to find that but hope beats eternal in the human breast, so wish me luck. You might be able to get it where you live and I am sure Chiquin would not mind sharing what he said with all of you.

Just some gory photos of Riamfada's landing strip. Katie and Dommie already licked off the marrow that was ozzing out.



You recalled Riamfada did not like that basket the last time. Since I have had visions of him enjoying that basket and perching on it as a mobile perch should he be taken outside with us, I felt the onus was on me to help him like that basket perch.

So Tuesday evening when he was taken to his room to sleep, I placed the basket inside his room as well. I hoped that way he would get to like that basket and be prepared to perch on it. His cage being place on the table in that room. That basket was placed on the hostess trolley, a place I knew he liked to be on.

Wednesday morning, after the usual morning interactions with him, I placed a dish with some sunflower seeds in that basket, to help him like that basket.

Then when I came back during lunch break, I was pleased to see sunflower seed husks left, that he did get to that basket at least after that. His mash was given, and I had my lunch. Then I went back to him again , to bond and train with him.

He was on the lower bar and I went to him and cue him 'step up' with his stick perch. He looked at me, backed off from me, to step up on the higher bar. On the next cue to 'step up', he edged sideway past the stick perch, and then step up to the lower bar. I moved back a couple of meters, and asked him to 'come'. He looked at me, poised as if to fly to me, and then very slowly opened his wings, and in extreme slow motion, flapped his wings up and down twice. He of course, remaining on that bar. Then he preened himself. When his eyes were on me again, I presented him with the stick perch cued him to 'step up'. He then did that again. He turned around, and walked up on the rope to step up on the upper bar and turned around to look at me bobbing his head up and down. I moved away from him and requested a 'come' Very slowly, he opened his wings to very slowly flapped it two times, slowly folded his wings, and did his preening.

I smiled when it dawned on me then. He obviously knew all those cues, voice as well as action. He knew that almost from the beginning. And shown that in the weeks with me. On that day, for whatever reasons, Riamfada chose to thumb his nose at me and had his joke on what we had been doing. In a way as friend would do to a friend.

I was much happier with his parroty joke and parody of that training than if he had done it the way I had expected. Perhaps if I kept him hungry, and fed him only after the training, he would have done as taught.

I then would not have that priceless experience of being the butt of his joke on me. I put down that clicker and offered him my forearm near the nook of my elbow. That was the last place without scars from his claws and which did not hurt me. That was also the place he liked to be on to be brought close to my chest for his headrubs. He step on to there without any cue from me. He got his headrubs and a soft talking to from me that I love that joke he played on me.

I then had to leave him and go back to office.

On that evening, we had another dinner do. When we were living in Al Ghoubra, in the last couple of weeks before we left our apartment there, we got to know of a restaurant E-One. The most delicious of lamb roghan josh where the meat just melt off from the bone, and tasty mixed Hakka noodles. Very basic food, and very good food. We wanted to let our friends who stayed in Al Ghoubra know of this place. Friends we got to know that stayed far away for reasons strange and known only to themselves, joined us too.

Ali and Bob , Jacques M, Erica the Fulbright scholar and her friend Christinia, Joe and Tilly and their little baby son came. Dawn, a new friend and British expat nurse with Omani Armed forces came and put us to shame. She spend more years in Oman than all of us put together. Twenty years it was for her.

I ordered the best I could, a dinner that featured Lamb roghan josh and Hakka noodles and fried rice and different kind of nans (Indian unleaven bread) and told that owner not to let me down of I would kill him. He was very pleased I brought so many new people there. All seemed to be very happy with the food there.

Then my wife got to telling them of that strange Swahili restuarant where we could not understand the dishes described and ask for any adventurous volunteers and if they know of people who could guide us.

We told them of that Zanzibar restaurant near where we stayed that perhaps they could try first before the Swahili restaurant. Almost all hands went up other than for that little baby boy who had both his hands up.

A few days later, my wife told me she got a new couple from Internet who grew up in Zanzibar and love Swahili food. And they love to guide us into their cuisine. So my friends, be prepared for report on Zanzibar and Swahili food from me and my wife some time in the future.

We went back after dinner at E-One. Riamfada was taken out to the living room. He did everything to cue. No parroty jokes from him.

I told you that he was not fond of my wife even as he was so nice and gentle with me. But what happened was shocking to me. I told my wife to try to patch with him, and to periodically offer him sunflower seeds, and to be mindful to remain out of lunge distance. From time to time, I would give him headrubs, and my wife in my presence, would be allowed to give him headrubs too.

I was on my laptop playing chess with the bars and Riam on it a couple meters away. My wife went to give him a seed and withdrawing her arm. I heard a flutter of wings and turned my head to see Riamfada did a flying lunge to cross that meter to nip my wife finger and flew back to the bar immediately. He broke the skin.

I read of lunging which is dangerous enough, but I never heard of a flying lunge. And I hoped so much that Riamfada would bond with my wife as he is male. I never realised of this dangerous aspect from Riamfada. There was no question that such rubbish could not be tolerated. But how could I stop that.

I thought back and thought perhaps I had not spend that much time with Riam as he liked. I changed my routine. He got more cuddling and headrubs as that seemed to gentle him more. I approached him with my wife more. I noted he really detested that basket notwithstanding he had taken sunflower seed placed in a bowl there at the beginning. I subsequently placed more seeds, but he had not gone to take the seeds there. I removed that offending basket from his room which had been placed on one of his favourite spot, top of that hostess trolley..

I am happy to say he did not do that lunge to my wife anymore , so far.

Thursday/Friday will be Oman Saturday/Sunday.

On Thursday morning Riam was taken to the living room. He was taken through his exercises. He was introduced to 'handshake' with my finger to shake hand on. He was then brought to the bathroom for his shower.

I then brought him back to the bars where he shook off the water. You note he was taken out to the living room during day time only on weekends. The last weekend, we went turtle watching. The weekends prior to that, Riamfada was a shy thing not taken to flying.

We had big picture windows around the living room. We lived in a walled compound of our own and had no need of privacy. We love bright room so we had no curtains. I have walked Riam to tap his beak on the glass window before. But that was some time ago.

He took off. I was lucky he flew to the window at an glancing angle instead of head on. He crashed on the glass and dropped to the floor. I got such a fright. He walked a few steps and flew back to the bar. I then took him back to his room.

My wife and I almost ran to the car on a shopping run. To buy curtains, and beaded curtains and that ladder and other stuff. I wanted to do that long time back, but being a procrastinator, I procrastinated.

We decided on bath curtains that we could draw across those big windows and french sliding door.

I came back to cut pieces of cable ducts, loop that with Dyneema line and silicon cement those pieces above those windows in readiness to support the shower curtains. I also placed up a nice driftwood perch hanging that from the ceiling. I had to let the silicon cement set overnight. 90% of the work done other than the stringing of dyneema line between those cemented supports and hanging of the curtains.

Friday morning I took Riamfada out on the nook of my arm. I brought him to the glass windown and pushed his head to tap his beak on the glass. I told him not to be silly and do not fly through the window.




I felt pleased with myself and placed him on the bars telling myself he surely knew by now.

My neighbour (roof that Katie went up on) had two dead trees. He got people to cut that down. At the first dull heavy blow of the axe on that tree, Riamfada spooked. I was lucky the bars were near that glass window. In spook flight, he took off and crashed into the window and dropped on the floor. He then took off again and flew into the kitchen. I rushed there to get him to step up and took him back into his room.

He could have broke his neck.

I was so lucky.

I cursed myself not to prepare for the worse as I kept telling you folks to do so.

I got that ladder, ran up a few lines of Dyneema braided fishing line between those silicon cement supports. Hooked up the shower curtains and the beaded curtains. Two small windows got newspaper taped on them.

I double locked that barn door, luckily with Riamfada still alive.




Then Riamfada was brought back to living room. No more clear glass windows during the day time. Even in the evening, we kept those shower curtains drawn.


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 any wildlife conservation body of your choice

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