Monday, September 12, 2011

Flight recall training with Léa

Yup, I'm doing basic flight recall training with Léa, but only inside.

This all started a week ago. Léa was perched on her Wingdow and I was sitting on the bed. I saw my small jar of almonds and I thought it would be fun to see if Léa would fly down from the Wingdow to the bed for the almond. I showed her the almond and she was immediately very interested in it so I thought, why not..I held my hand open flat, with the almond in it just slightly above her towel on the bed and called to her. She flew downwards to get it!

Ever since, I've been trying it once or twice per evening as she seemed much more interested in the whole thing at the time.

On the second night, instead of having her fly to the bed, I wanted her to fly to my hand. So I held it a bit higher, so it would make sense landing on it versus landing on the bed and she did good! But again, the impressing thing is that she flew downwards, which is a good thing to teach in case of an accidental escape as captive parrots rarely know how to do that.

On the third day, after having been released from the Boy, she flew to me from the Wingdow as I entered the bedroom. Which means she flew the whole length of the bedroom (which is really longer than it is large) on her own, for no rewards and landed on my arm. On that evening, I went back to the flying downward exercise but this time an almond wouldn't tempt her. However, a nice string of beads did and she flew right down for them!

On the fourth day, I decided to have her fly to me across the room, but this time on cue (when she did this the previous day, she did it all on her own). I took an almond out of the jar, showed it to her and then called her and she flew to me right away.

On the fift day, I had taken her out of the bedroom and into the living room. I had her stand on a few different play stands and twice, when I saw that she wanted to get off the play stands I took the opportunity to extend my arm and call her to fly to me, which she did.

You can see on both pictures that she is lifting her feet as well as bending down a little, thing she almost always does before taking flight.

On that evening, I also took a short video of the flying down exercise. The quality is a bit poor, next time I'll try to have a bit more ambient light. Again, this was not an exercise on distance flight but to have her fly down to me and to work on cue flying (when I call).

I kept doing more of the same over the week-end.

Today I wanted to work on distance with her once more, as well as having her fly to me on call but not necessarily with a food reward. Since she seemed to want to fly a lot when I got her out earlier this afternoon, I figured I would capitalize on that. I positioned myself across the room with her on the Wingdow and called her to me. The first flight she got rewarded with the almond which she ate half of and then let drop. I had her fly to me on cue a few more times (always returning to the Wingdow between trials) and would only reward her with praise. The challenge on landing on my arm combined with the fun of flight actually seemed to be all it took for her to be happy. She actually flew for a half hour with very brief breaks to catch her breath before taking off again.

While I don't think I'll ever be comfortable having her free fly outside, it's quite the nice thing to practice inside!


Kacy said...

She's doing so amazing!! I love those first two pictures - awesome toys!!

She is a smart girl and the sky is the limit with her!

Tamara said...

You're giving me all kinds of ideas for working with my little Poi. Thanks! You and Lea clearly have a great bond :)

Natacha said...

@Kacey - Thanks!

@Tamara - How is it going with your new little one? What's his name? :)