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Flight training

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BirdCrazy
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« on: September 21, 2011, 02:06:46 pm »

Hey all!

As you've heard me mention numerous times, Skittles is an EXCELLENT flyer, even though her wings are kept clipped. I'm to the point now where I feel since she can fly so well anyways, I'm just going to let her stay flighted from now on.

Scooter and Gizmo are also pretty good flyers, and I'm going to let their wings grow back out.

My question is, how would I go about flight training them? Mom, Dad and I got to talking the other night, and there's always the possibility that one of these guys can slip out the door with as quick as they are, no matter how careful we are. As they are now, they'd probably get stuck up in a tree and not know how to fly/descend back down to use safely, and we'd have to go after them somehow. They need to be able to learn the proper techniques for getting back to us safely so they don't get hurt!

I feel that flight training would be the best bet with them, I just have no idea how to go about it.
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Sondra
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 03:55:30 pm »

BC, Unless your whole family can follow good bird safe practices for keeping your birds in the house CLIP. This means using a sign that says "Birds Out, Please Knock", locking  all doors that open to the outdoors when the birds are out, checking screens regularly to ensure none have been chewed on, PUTTING ALL BIRDS AWAY when someone knocks BRFORE answering the door. Take it from someone who has recall trained their birds yet still spent THOUSANDS when one did get out because a hawk got her because my spouse couldn't follow the rules.
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BuffaloParrot
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 05:59:14 pm »

I agree with Sondra here.
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BirdCrazy
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 07:01:55 pm »

Which I fully understand. I am torn. All 3 of them can fly just as well clipped as they do flighted-especially the green cheeks.
with that said, I have no idea how to go about with flight training. More or less I just want to have them trained to recall in case one of them does escape.
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Sondra
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 07:30:01 pm »

With my warning already posted I'll suggest some things. Get a book on clicker training and read it, then put it into practice. Click, then gently toss your bird into the air so that it flies. Do this untill the bird flies when you click. Then start calling the bird to you when you click. Use praise or treats, ALWAYS end each session on a good note (even if that means you click and they chirp), stay calm and never start when you are agitated or upset. DO NOT TAKE YOUR BIRDS OUTDOORS WITHOUT A HARNESS!!

Once you get the bird to fly to you on command bring in branches. Start with no leaves and progress to branches with leaves.They will be afraid of whatever you bring into the house, so do not try to use it right away. Eventually they will explore it on their own, this is when you start training.    I'm not talking about twigs here, I'm talking saplings. If your bird gets out it won't go to land on a twig, it will land as close to the trunk of the tree and as high as it can fly to. If your birds are small crows will notice them right away and start to attack them, this will attract gulls and any bird of prey in the area along with cats. I'm not saying this to scare you, it's something you must be aware of. You MUST be aware of what is in the area when you start the bird on his way down to you. Most birds will work their way down from a tree in increments, working away from the trunk and out and down at the same time. Work hard at recall training from "trees" in full leaf as it will encourage them to fly directly down to you without stopping. You can get planters on wheels from Wal-Mat, put your "tree" in the planter and fill with rocks, now you have an up-right "tree" to work from. These trees also make goo playgyms and foraging "toys" the birds will strip the leaves, and the bark. Just make sure you use bird safe trees. If you need a list let me know.   
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BirdCrazy
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 07:36:12 pm »

Thank you very much, Sondra.

All of my guys are scared of the harness, so they don't go outside. The closest they get to that is our screened in deck, or in a travel cage.
I am definitely keeping my guys/gals clipped, I just wanted to get some feedback on some stuff I could do for recall training. :)
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Sondra
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 08:53:54 pm »

You are welcome. Please do the recall training in the house and use tree branches (saplings) for that one "just in case" moment that hopefully never happens. I recall trained our tiels for that "just in case" moment that did happen to us. I am so glad I did because if Momma hadn't come to where she was when she was snatched she would have died when that hawk attacked. I was concentrateing so hard on Momma I didn't notice the hawk - I feel so guilty. I did notice the crows and called to her to come to me when they passed over a neighboring house - never saw the hawk though.  Be prepared, train them, it's a good choice you are making and you can make a game of it every day which will expand any pent up energy.  Have fun!  loveuk  hugu
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BirdCrazy
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 09:06:30 pm »

That's exactly what I want it for...just in case. :) it will definitely be indoors when I do it, as none of them have been trained to a harness. They were all too scared of it, poor things lol. Gizmo and scooter especially....lol.

I think it willbe fun for them. Gizmo especially always has pent up energy.
 hugu loveuk
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Erithacus
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2011, 09:32:44 pm »

Install a curtain over the doors. It helps me to prevent my birds from getting out when I open the entry door. None of my 6 flighted birds has gotten out before (touch wood) except the cunning Cocoa who managed to slip out at least 6 times.
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Mi Amore
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2011, 01:20:08 am »

i know this is a tad off topic,but what type of harness have you tried? i know at first my fids were afraid of the feather tether. i worked with them really slow and just let them play with the leash part and worked with it over 6 months. i started in late fall so that way when spring came i could take them out. the only one of my fids that is re call trained is mojave and i think its because he is the only one of my fids that isnt a rescue as i raised him from 6 weeks on. for any training i do as i do with my dogs. work for a short time on one thing and give affection and a treat if they do the good behavior. i agree with sondra dont do it if you are aggitated or upset as they pick that up. you got some darn good tips from the others above. i use travel cages for the ones that we have just rescued that havent had a chance to be harness trained. i wish they made harness's for lovebirds so mine can go outside without a travel cage. i do also think its a good thing you are working on recall for that just in case moment. i hope nobody else here has to worry about that. i wish you the best in this,keep up updated on how it goes please.
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BirdCrazy
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2011, 06:45:58 am »

I have 2 aviator harnesses. They were scared to death of them.  After 4 months I could finally rest one on the side of gizmos cage without him freaking out, but if it got moved, he got freaked out over it.

Scooter just doent like his wings messed with and he runs away if the harness is brought within 3 feet of him.

Skittles will play with it some and I've been able to just drape or over her, it that's it.
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