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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

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Riamfada Graduated from her room!
shanlung
Bon appetite to praireprincess birdies and all other birdies on Tinkerbell mash!

In these days of inevitable belt tightening from the financial tsunami, the most expensive commercial bird food is still not as good and nutritious as the less expensive bird food, aka Tinkerbell mash. A food you make yourself with love and care. You know exactly what goes into it and not have to worry about melamine and other rubbish thats added to promote shelf life.

Riamfada has a wire ring on the the leg. That ring is not a closed ring put on at hatching.

At first, I thought that to be part of the chain attachment to perch so commonly used. Then I saw some characters stamped on it. Riamfada did not like me fiddling with that ring to make out what was on it. Later on when I can do that, I will let interested parties know. I will not write publicly in this blog in case some one in Oman reading this suddenly 'found' they 'lost' a grey with that ring.

Now, you folks know I only have one grey in my life and she was only with me for 3 years before I had to say painful farewell to Tinkerbell. Unlike many of you living with a flock of them for years and years and with longer exposure to them.

In my last report, I mentioned the prior owner seemed to have looked after Riamfada well in that she was so sweet and wanted so much loving from me and my wife.

I then got this letter from Ann Castro of birds-r-fun.com(that I hope will not mind me reproducing it below as I had not asked her permission to do so). She kept many greys and with years of experiences in rescues. Here is what she said to my "Riamfada with me now"

Wonderful! Shanlung Looks like she is a love sponge.
I see this with birds I have taken in that were neglected for a long time - they just soak up all the love that they missed for so long.
She is a lucky bird. Take care,
Ann.


I had thought it strange Riamfada reacted so akwardly to step up on hand or even on stick. And yet so hunger for headrubs and beak rubs from us. After all, if she is used to headrubs, surely she must be close to former caregiver to know of step-ups etc.

Well, Riamfada past is her past. I think she got a good present and an assured future.

And now back to the heading of this entry.

But first, I still had not started formal clicker training and that conditioning of clicker that I intended to and wrote about yesterday. You can blame that on my procrastination. I also wanted more time to be snuggy with Riamfada. Clicker training will induced a formality in me that I was not prepared yet. Conditioning of clicker required me to the withholding of treats, to be given on the click of clicker.

So I thought never mind if her graduation be delayed a while. But I did not reckoned on the intelligence of Riamfada.

You have known of my graduation criteria before entry to the entire enclosed villa is allowed. Step-up must be done and recall done especially when you have a flighted or semi flighted bird. Thats why a smallish room should be used first before entry into the rest of the house.

I live about 10ish minutes from office. Without Riamfada, I would normally drive back for lunch with my wife. With Riamfada, I will drive back during lunch.

I wrote that I induced a pseudo step up the other day. Earlier on, any approach of hand or stick for step up made her frantic.

I used a branch from inside her cage to place on top of cage. I watched that she step on that branch and then I lifted that branch that you have seen in earlier photos. The first time, she trembled with fear for a while. Headrubs , sunflower seeds and soothing voice relaxed her. Then it was done again, and again. Waiting for her to step on the branch and then taking her to me.

Yesterday during lunch with her, I placed one end of the stick on cage and holding sunflower seed, I induced her to walk to the stick to me before I lifted the stick. After a couple of times, I placed the stick in front in step up position and asked her to step up. She was hesitant, but she did that to my 'good girl' and sunflower seed. She lost her fear of step ups and we did that repeatedly four or five times. She still declined to step up on my finger and hand. I have no problem with that. Come on! she been with us only a few days.

But she could accept the stick.

I step back a bit and saw she was eyeing me intently.

I hold that stick a foot away, and when I saw she was about to jump at me, I called to her "Riamfada, Come!" To my delight, she took off and with a few flaps , landed akwardly on the branch.

She got her treat, and returned to parallel bars. Her next response to my "Come" was more deliberate and steady. As was the next.

Ha! In that 20 minutes during my lunch time, Riamfada graduated to rest of house.

I felt so bad I had not prepared for that eventuality earlier. I still not bought that ladder to allow me to fix perches hung from ceiling. That 2nd set of clothing rack/parallel bars still not assembled. Lesson from first set assembled showed me while stainless steel mirror smooth bars are good for clothing, that needed to be covered over to provide better grip for a parrot.


But I could not have made in my wildest guess that she would graduate so early. And I not even started on formal clicker training with her yet.

When I got back home for the day, I went in to Riamfada's room with my wife to show her the step ups and recalls. My wife was so pleased that Riamfada did that with her unlike Tinkerbell. We both agreed that Riamfada graduated.

We went out of house on another shopping trip down to the village Al Seeb to pick up more sisal ropes. Also to find material to wrap the bar in. I decided against hijacking a towel in case her claws be caught in those loose threads. Came home to throw that material into the washing machine with a hefty dose of Clorox.

Then we went off for dinner. Recently we went to this Turkish Palace Restaurant next to Marks and Spencers Muscat and had a good grilled fish dinner with friends. That time, I eyed the jumbo prawns. I ordered that this time together with a pizza. The grilled prawns were just delicious and so was the pizza. So anyone coming to stay in the 2nd bedroom will be brought there to enjoy the prawns.

We got back. I hoped the hostess trolley I was assembling the couple days before would be sturdy enough. I pop on the castors. It was slightly wobbly as I pushed that into Riamfada's room. Her cage with her inside was lifted to that trolley.

It worked! Riamfada's cage could be easily shifted from her room to the living room where she could be with us.

The kitties were out in garden and patio. The doors were closed and Riamfada let out of the cage. Her room parallel bars were taken out as I was too excited to bother to assemble the 2nd set. She looked around. She step up on the offered branch and step up on parallet bars.

Videos were taken for you all to see she truly graduated.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsSFKlV7Ur0

Stepping up


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvWXwJYi_pE

Step off and step up


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzaBkuWYbbM

Riamfada on short recall

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q15LeVrjU-E

Riamfada on longer recall


Then Riam was left on cage top to do her thing. The parallet bar was next to cage for her to get on to.

We could watch TV, do Internet and all within sight and sound of her.

I went to the patio to have my ciggie. I imposed a ban on myself smoking in the villa to the delight of my long suffering wife. Unlike the apartment of Chiayi and Taipei with strong breezes, the villa behind walls and totally aircond did not have the breeze to clear ciggie smoke.

Katie and Dommie came back to join me. Then when they saw Riamfada in the room, they was electrified. I kept them out and went back inside to Riamfada. I put Riamfada through her paces, to show Katie and Dommie that Riamfada is family.

Riamfada was then returned into her cage. I then allowed the kitties to get in. They walked around her, and looked up. I hold a long thin cane in my hand. When they tried to stretch and reach up to Riamfada, I tapped them smartly to show them I am watchful and told them not to do that.

Then Riamfada was wheeled into her room and locked in. Kitties showed us earlier that they knew how to jump up to unlatch doors. Lights off for her to sleep.











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Another "Bird Whisperer" among us

I know you wrote of a bird whisperer you met in the mountains, but you are so modest and unassuming, you do not realize that YOU are indeed as much a whisperer as he. You respect the personality of the bird, and they know it. How smart Riam is, to figure this out so quickly.

There is a happy feeling in my heart as I read your postings these days. It is so wonderful that with Riam, Joy will be a part of the bonding. Perhaps Riam was an ignored bird, even if not actively abused. Birds definitely need love and attention and expect to be part of the family. Riam reached out and claimed what she needed....which is to have a loving family. Wonderful!! I am so very happy for your expanding family.

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