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  1. #1
    Egg's Cracking... shanlung's Avatar
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    Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    First take a look at these collection of photographs.






    More photos here

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/769646/

    A love story of me and my Tinkerbell, a free flying Congo African Grey parrot CAG , as we roamed about the mountains and forests and cities of Taiwan. She loves to go riding with me on the motorbike as she sit on a perch on the handle bar.

    Full details of that and more are in that webpage, together with URLs to the relevant folders of hundreds of photos. Without those photos, what I wrote will never be believed

    You can live with a flying parrot at home.
    That is the legacy that Tinkerbell will like you to have

    ShanLung

    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9

  2. #2
    Teenager Mysticalwings's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    o wow...

  3. #3
    Hatched! pandora's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    I am so glad you got Tink back! What a beautiful, intelligent bird you have. Welcome!

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    Egg's Cracking... shanlung's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan



    Mysticalwings and Pandora,

    Thank you for the welcome. I am sorry at getting back late here.

    Every thing can be dangerous, even clipping the wings of the parrot can be dangerous.

    What I have done is dangerous and have its risks. This must be done with understanding and knowledge and a lot of training. The risks can only be minimised and never totally eliminated.

    What you see required a lot of training and A LOT OF LOVE AND PATIENCE.
    That training is so detailed that it will not be possible to answer in letters here.


    What I write are for all who love their parrots and wish to know how to live with a parrot that can fly.

    If you like the photos, then what I write will be even more important to all of you.

    What I have done can be done by those that wish to know.

    All the details of the training , the special food that I prepared for Tinkerbell, our travelling together can be read in the URLs that are in

    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/



    The choice is yours.

    If you like what you see and what you read, I will be honoured if you send it to your other friends that love parrots and birds in your country.


    Shanlung
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9

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    Fledgeling Aviennda's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    I saw your pictures on the internet somewhere a couple of months ago or so!!! Those pictures that I saw are one of the reasons why I will be getting either a flight suit or harness for my bird, Bunji. (Not that I plan on training her in the way that you've done with Tinkerbell...I wouldn't be able to do that, lol. I'd just like to keep her flighted around the house.) Welcome to Tailfeathers
    Last edited by Aviennda; 10-04-2005 at 03:49 AM.
    - Aviennda, Bunji and Henry (Meyer's and Senegal)


  6. #6
    Next bird-English Budgie Tailfeather Pootspete's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    I love the last picture. The expression on Tinkerbell is priceless. He really loves his daddy.

  7. #7
    Good Bye Tailfeather WolfRyder's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    shanlung

    I am honored you shared your pictures and the hope of such a bond with my birds. I look forward to reading your website with interest.

    Thank you

    Carol


    marlsy's daughter, Kelsi(age 13) made this sig for the contest

  8. #8
    'FB' Five Eggs Laid!
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    Neat pictures!
    -content removed by author-

  9. #9
    Picards Mummy Found a Mate Melody's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan


    WOW those are great pics, i am very grateful and honered that you showed them here on Tailfeathers. I have bookmarked your website as one of my faverouts and look forward to seeing more advnture with you and Tinkerbell!!

  10. #10
    Birdyless Bird Lover Tailfeather raptorace's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan


    Hi Shanlung - only had a chance to see a teenie part of your website, but very nice photos and what a beautiful CAG.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Proud to have been pappa to Sweety and Sky
    Sky, Sweety, you will always be in my heart.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  11. #11
    Where The Birds Always Sing Tailfeather Birdmad Girl's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    Shanlung - to Tailfeathers! Glad you could make it over here.

    Your african grey is beautiful!! That is so lovely to be able to watch her in flight like that.

  12. #12
    Egg's Cracking... shanlung's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan




    WARNING WARNING VERY LONG LETTER.

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdmad Girl
    Shanlung - to Tailfeathers! Glad you could make it over here.

    Your african grey is beautiful!! That is so lovely to be able to watch her in flight like that.
    Thank you folks for such a warm welcome again. I am sorry if I cannot address everyone of you but I try.

    If you like to see her in flight, then go to the individual Flickr sets
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/
    (not 'favourite Tinkerbell photos' as that is an assortment), set that to slide show of 1.6 seconds and just enjoy. You may like especially ' Tinkerbell -MangChow' or 'Tinkerbell at Chipeng2'

    Reading the reports at Tinkerbell webpage will take a long time as thats the result of years of writing, but if you suffer from insomnia, well.....

    Even the roadmap of Tinkerbell Legacy can be long, and as I wrote that while checking out sunrises and sunsets in Laos and Thailand, that may be longer than you expect.

    But I rather write more than less to give all information that I can.

    I have to advise against any of the commerical harness or flightsuits. More details in the letter below.

    One kind of summary letter that can give you a quick look at what I have done is reproduced below. I hope that can help to answer the questions asked (or thought of askinging)

    This is extracted from my blog

    http://www.livejournal.com/~shanlung/2005/06/10/
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaa

    Friday, June 10th, 2005

    Harness for flighted parrots - To Nick and folks


    This is not just for people with flighted parrots. This is also for people with clipped parrots who may like to take them out.


    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.

    Not all harnesses are equal.

    When I lived in Taipei, a huge chaotic and fascinating city, I bought a commercial harness not knowing anything better to take Tinkerbell out for walks in the neighbourhood. That harness was so stiff and hard that after a few times, Tinkerbell resisted my attempts to put it on and I gave up.

    At home in the apartment, she flew about happily flying to me on cue as well as flying to me because she thought it to be a good idea.

    Eventually, I found a huge area, an office space under renovation, where I could take her to fly in what is termed as semi freeflight in enclosed conditions. That was in 2002 and with much discussions with Chris, Janet and others from FF list.
    (Free Flight list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Freeflight/)

    I documented that and I believe that was the first ever documentation in the FF list on semi freeflights as well as the disection of the mistakes made and solutions. Those reports can be read from Tinkerbell webpage http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9 in the section "Tinkerbell and her semi-free flights in large building"

    Those semi free flights are essential, AND MUST BE DONE, before you even think of taking your parrot out to free fly or fly on harness.

    I never intended at the beginning to fly Tinkerbell on harness. I stumbled onto this path by accident and kind of developed along.


    Eventually, we moved to Chiayi city at the foot of the Alishan mountain mastiff. But Chiayi is also surround by huge plains of padi fields. I thought it to be safe to freefly Tinkerbell in. The concensus then ( and it appears to be now still) was that parrot cannot fly more than 3 miles.

    I carefully selected a site many miles from the nearest groups of building. I deliberately allowed a clump of trees about 200 meters away thinking this may act as a lure to Tinkerbell should she not fly to me. I thought I could go those trees at worse to get her back again to me.

    I brought her there in carrier to show her around a few times. She hated harness so no harness for her.

    The first time she came out it was ok. It was ok still for a while. Then she spooked and flew. My mouth dropped as she flew and flew and flew, way way way beyond 3 miles. Thought you folks better be aware of that especially when you all seem to be mesmerised that 3 miles is still the limit,

    That was a nightmare that I do not wish on my worse enemy.

    I wrote of that experience so that if anyone want to try to free fly, they can get a taste of how that could be like.

    When I wrote those letters to the parrot mailing list on recovering Tinkerbell after two days and nights . I could not eat or sleep and did not know if I was alive or I was dead. If I had not recovered her, those letters would never be written.

    Since those letters were very long, I had to break that into 3 parts. My friends around the world had a shock of their lives as they all grew very attached to Tinkerbell. They thought that she was still lost at that time when I send of that first letter. They did not see that it was 1 of 3.

    You can read that experience and get a first hand taste of what it is like to be in the Overnighter's club below. You can also read my conclusion there and then.


    Tinkerbell free flight report 1 of 3
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/free2.html

    Tinkerbell free flight report 2 of 3
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/free3.html


    Tinkerbell free flight report 3 of 3
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/free4.html


    Tinkerbell free flight - In Retrospect
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/free5.html

    Ultimately, it was my deliberate targetting of kindergartens and junior schools with fliers and posters adding to my pool of eyes and ears with younger people more likely to see and talk among themselves that lead to final recovery. It was a kid that gave me the break I needed. Bear that in mind if you need to recover your parrot. Not that what I said help. I have seen so many recovery attempts here that did not seem to consider kids can be your most important assets as they are more honest and open.

    Our vision and our hearing is nothing like that of parrots with their much superior senses. What you deemed to be 'safe' may be very threatening to them.

    You cannot make assumptions on their behalf as to their surroundings. A few months after that incident, I came across an article in the local press that thousands of ducks in the farms around the area were dying. There was a military airbase in that area. To prevent accidents from birds striking the planes, the airbase used an ultrasonic device to scare away birds. That frightened the ducks leading to their death. It could just be that at that time when I took Tinkerbell for her truly free flight, that airbase might have activated the alarm scaring Tinkerbell and spooking her off.

    (Some time later, I found this letter I wrote "Playing music to ducks" in a parrot list archive and I posted that letter here)
    http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/19127.html

    Since then, I knew I had to take a different course of action. I gave up all further thoughts of free flying. But I love the mountains and forests of Taiwan, more beautiful than my words can describe and far exceeding my ability to capture on photographs. So even if you enjoyed the photos I and my wife had taken, they are only a shadow compared to the true reality of those places. I wanted to take Tinkerbell with me even if she will not free fly.

    I decided to try using a harness that I designed. The commercial harnesses available for parrots then were, and still are, totally unsuitable. I strongly advice against buying them.

    On a trip to the mountains shortly after that, and with my martial arts background, I made an inspired step by making radically different assumptions in harness to create the new Tinkerbell harness. That hard and strong does not mean the harness is safer when they hate it and will chew that off. Soft seemingly weak harness may be stronger as they will accept it and not want to chew it away. I do not know if your parrot is like Tinkerbell. But Tinkerbell who could chew wooden toys to bits hardly chew on her harness after an short initial stage. It is your choice to make. But I have walked that walk with Tinkerbell still around even if with her present caregiver, who by the way, takes Tink out every evening and fly her in her harness.

    That harness was meant to take her out in and not originally thought of taking her to fly. That harness worked and Tinkerbell accepted it. So we went out with her in harness and a reelable dog leash. And of course, she flew a bit in it and seemed to be comfortable flying in that harness I designed. I did not expect her to fly in harness originally. Tinkerbell had different ideas and flew in that harness. I complied with her wishes and explore means to lighten her leash. That was how the harness was developed from just a harness to a flying harness.

    Then I thought what if I used a lighter leash. I found this high tech high strength braided fishing line made from Dyneema. I also found that this material is also used for bullet proof vest and stronger than Kevlar.

    Do see the report I made on the first flight of Tink with fishing line as leash in "Tinkerbell at Alishan Dinghu (first use of fishing line)" http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/wtink01dinghu.htm

    We travelled high and low, far and wide after that. You can read and see the photos made of a small fraction of the trips we made. We were out almost every weekends. Tinkerbell was taken to fly from low down to me high up on a hill. She flew from up above to me several floors below. She flew in the mountains and forests. We went for walks to look at the stars and fireflies at night. She flew in winds near typhoon force. She flew in gusty shifty winds. She was out from me at over 70 meters when a rainstorm suddenly hit. I gave the recall and she flew back in the rain.

    In the temple grounds to parks to seaside to meadows. She flew in a freedom that you can only get a glimpse of from my reports.

    She developed confidence and poise from outings to outings. I smiled when I read about how easily greys are spooked by even addition of a new chair in the house, or the color of a new shirt. I mentally contrast that to the thousands of new people she met in her travels and the new hotel rooms that she was introduced to almost every weekend.

    At first she flew to me on recall only in straight line. Then she varied it as her strength and confidence grew. Her best flights were never captured by my camera. She may fly to me, than soar in a twisting flight upwards to circle around, then fly in a big circle and weaved down to me. The memory of my camera ran out as we tried to capture those long flights. A shadow of that beauty exist only in my words of those reports as I tried by best to describe what could not be photographed.

    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'
    scenerio'.

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

    First of all, our arm holding the line, the line, and her body all have
    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 flying
    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
    direction.

    Tinkerbell knew it. There had been many times she deliberately flew to
    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.

    Tinkerbell love the harness I made for her. To the extent that when I did not take her out on the regular time, she would pick that up and flew over to me chastising me that I did not put it on to take her out in.


    Now, as to that final step for people on the free flight list where you take your parrot to that first free flight in the open, do not just consider that just as one step of from step 3 . "semi freeflight in enclosed conditions" to step 4. "Freeflight in the open" just as step 3 "semi freeflight in enclosed conditions" is a step from step 2. "free flight at home"

    Those steps are merely numbers. The chasm between step 3 and step 4 is ten times that from step 2 and step 3. Should you ever try step 3 "semi freeflight in enclosed conditions" for the first time, you will encounter pounding in your heart like never before even though you know the bird is flown in safe enclosed conditions.

    People have free flown safely. My bird whisperer of Tsaoling, Chris Biro, Bart, Janet, Gay and a few more came to my mind. The conditions and most important, their temperament and the temperament of their flock are unique to them.

    Harness can be a safe intermediate step between step 3 and step 4. Your parrot can be brought out to be familiar with the surroundings and to get use to the outside. With that harness on, you do not have fear in your marrow and your heart pounding away. Parrots are empaths, and your very fear of them flying away may cause them to fly away. If you take your parrot in a carrier, it will not be the same. Imagine you are a parrot and in a carrier as against you as a parrot wearing a harness. The view and perception you will have will be very different. You as the parrot will be more comfortable in that place.

    Then if your parrot wearing the harness is given recall cues and flies back on short distance, that will further lessen the fear of your parrot and of yourself. Nothing is ever certain. But you have decrease the chances of spooking very much more by also training and getting your parrot used to the harness.

    The choice of that final step is yours. You have her safety , and also her happiness in your hands and only you can decide if you are going to cross that Rubicon. You will only make that choice when you are ready to. You may not even need to go into step 4. Taking her out to let her fly in harness may be enough for you. Even if she is clipped, taking her out in harness and leash will give you a lot more security that not in harness amd leash at all.

    Now, should you have removed the harness to let her fly freely, what about that lovely park in the next valley, or the lake side that you love?

    Does it make more sense to take her there in her harness that she can fly a bit as well as the carrier cage to put her back into should it rain?

    Or is free flight as flights in a closed warehouse or around your house only what you are contented with?

    If your answer is no, either you are as good as Chris that you need not consider harness or you are as bad as me and think harness and leash can be your answer.


    More important than the harness would be the training and bonding I and Tinkerbell had. I wrote that in detail, kind of road map for anyone who may
    want to do what I have done.

    I wrote of how to make safe the home environment and what you expect
    from a flighted parrot at home in Tinkerbell Legacy. The URL pointer
    to that is also in her home page.

    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'
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/harness4.html

    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.

    You may take 3 times as long as me to make that harness. But I need
    10 minutes, of which much time was actually spend in photographing
    the step by step. So you figure how long you need to spend.

    If your bird is clipped and you like to take her out, you need not go
    through all that I recommend for a flighted bird. No need for
    recalls or prior flights in secure big space. But clicker training
    is always a very good idea to train and bond with your fid even if
    you have no intention of flying her.

    But you must accustom your bird to the harness.

    I am cutting and pasting a portion of Tinkerbell Legacy. See that
    part that dealt with the harness and how to put it on.


    Tinkerbell Legacy - Final Rant - Bringing it all together
    http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/5196.html

    (if you like to read that in full, go to above URL. If you have not
    done so, read the earlier rants I made on Tinkerbell Legacy dealing
    from home environment to clicker training )

    ================================================== =======

    I also thought I should bring to a conclusion the legacy of Tinkerbell.

    I had written earlier of clicker training and of the target stick. For more details of clicker training, it is strongly advised you join either of the two clicker training groups that I mentioned before.

    The training that you will be doing together with your charge is a long term process. It is also a daily process. It is not so much as to training but a bonding that you do with your charge. In my view, they understand you much better than you may understand them. The training should not be a mechanical process that with enough repeats, you can get them to do things immediately like clockwork. Perhaps that can be done. But ask yourself, will that be enjoyable to her? and to you? that you can proceed to do such unenjoyable procedures on a daily basis? It is far better to have a routine that both likes and look forward to. If you got a flying bird, if she does not like it, it will not be possible to make her do it. It is much more important to keep it interesting enough for her to like what you are doing with her. Many repeats one after another is not going to fit that most important requirement.

    Life must be more than mindless rote training on either side.

    Clicker training session with Tinkerbell consisted of maybe 25% clicker training intersperse with lots of talking and headrubs. That may be sessions of 5 to 10 minutes long and about twice or three times a day. The daily outdoor flights with her were part of the training but not considered as clicker training here.

    With that 'touch target' technique, you are onto a lot of other tricks that you can teach her.

    I bought those different color and shape baby toys with the thought of teaching her color and shapes. I laid them out in front of her, use the target stick to touch one of them and told her to touch target. She immediately knew it was not the stick and the block being referred to. I had visions of getting her to pick up objects by verbally telling her the color and shape and she getting that right and dropping into the container. It went so well that first session that I thought it was going to be too easy.

    She picked up the blocks as indicated by the target stick. She got clicked and treat a few times. I placed out my hand and told her to drop it there. She walked up to my hand and placed it. She got clicked and treat. What happened was a quirk of fate. HalfTail my cat and Zorro my ferret were also let out to play on the floor and they happened to be there at that time. The block slipped from my hand and fell near HT. HT had a fright and jumped up.

    Tinkerbell thought it was so much fun to frighten poor HT even if that first time was an accident. At the next request to pick up the block with the target stick, she did that and deliberately threw it down near HT. HT had another fright and ran away. Tink then took another block and flew to aim at HT. I got excited myself and added my emotions to the situation and Tink felt it was a great game she got on to, taking blocks and hurling at HT and Zorro.

    That ended the attempts to teach Tink to pick up blocks. That was another reason why I felt parrots, or at least Tink is an empath able to pick up emotions. I did not feel it fair (and I was too lazy) to want to lock up HT and Zorro everytime I teach Tink. Everytime I took out the blocks, she would pick one to throw at HT or to fly with it to bomb HT. That was Tink's interpretation which I could not correct or bring myself to correct.

    I store those blocks away. But perhaps you may have better luck with that especially if you do not have other pets around to act as distraction.

    My main aim at that time was to get Tink to fly back to me on cue. I focused on 'touch target'. But with variations of touching the target stick. To get her to bend up and bend down and walk or fly to the target stick was too easy. I had to use more complex variations to keep her interest. You can see that in an old letter together with photos of her doing that.
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/c...uchtarget.html


    This 'touch target' was the basis of how I taught her to fly back to me on recall.
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/w8recalltraining.htm

    The above URL is an earlier letter that I wrote on recall training. Even if your parrot does not fly as yet, you should teach them recall training even if they walk to you now. You get them into the habit of coming to you when you call them. When they can fly, it will be that much easier.

    If your parrot do not fly now, it may be possible to get them to fly later when new flight feathers are grown. This may not be a definate thing. If your parrot had not been allowed to fledge and fly for a few weeks before the feathers were clipped and if they are many years old now, they may not even fly after the flight feathers are grown again.

    You cannot teach them how to fly. After all, you cannot fly yourself. BUT, you can give them a very safe environment for them to practise their first flights. The first flights can be very scary for them and for yourself. It was scary for me and very painful to watch her hit the walls and slide down. If I had to do that again, I would have prepared a special room with nettings along the walls for her to cling to.

    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/wflyindoor1.html

    Above URL is another earlier letter on teaching your parrot to fly indoors.

    After your parrot is flying about inside your house and coming to you on recalls, you need to take her to fly in much bigger enclosed areas. If you live in a huge mansion, you should also take her to that bigger enclosed areas. You need to let her really stretch her wings safely and you need to gain the temperament and confidence in yourself and her. Your fear can affect her and this is a vital step before attempting harness on outside.

    Go into Tinkerbell webpages and read all that I wrote under the main category of "Tinkerbell and her semi-free flights in large building" . You may find the mistakes I made so you need not repeat them. Most of all, you and her will have the fun of it.

    With successful recalls in big enclosed areas, you can now think of taking her out in harness.

    Do read what I think of harness usage in "Using Harness"
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/wUsingHarness.html

    Your parrot must be ready to wear the harness. To wear the harness, she must allow you to stroke and touch her all over. If your parrot likes head rubs, you use that as a starting point. While giving her head rubs. extend your other fingers to stroke her back. At any point when she does not like, stop and do not go on and get back to just head rubs. Slowly, you get to stroke her wings, and under her wings, her back, and her stomach. Take it easy and as a game with her. You got many many more months and years ahead of you. Do not stress her or yourself.

    Read all the letters I wrote on harness design. Each of those letters have been chronologically written with increment on the design but building up on earlier knowledge.

    The very first letter setting out the principles of Tinkerbell harness is the most important of the harness letter
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/harness1.html

    Even letters without harness in it contain matters relating to harness and touches on or was the foundation to later changes in harness.

    The final letter on harness "Tinkerbell - Harness for Dennis" gave the photo by photo stages of the last version of Tinkerbell harness.
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/w...nessdennis.htm

    When I was out with Tinkerbell, I used two harnesses with her all the time. The first was the visible harness and line used more to reassure me that she could not spook and fly away. The second and most important harness and line is the verbal connections I maintained with her. I talked to her to reassure her and that was what kept her with me.

    In outside recalls, and indoor recalls, or anything I need of her for that matter, I always talked with her until I felt she was ready to do that and then and only then, I gave the cue. If her eyes were not on me and mentally she not with me, I try not to cheapen the cue by using it. The cue should only be used when you know it would be effective.

    There had been distinct times when I knew we were in mental connections (Please do not quote that con-man former magician and former escapologist Randi as if he is the final arbiter (read some of the articles I found on Randi in the links in http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/randi.html and demand I write a 'scientific paper' the way I was demanded to do after I wrote of Ivan my cat in "Tinkerbell Legacy - Start" http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/1564.html
    and specifically in
    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/ivan1.html

    In the late evenings with Tinkerbell been recalled from over 30 meters away, I could not see her from that distance. I talked to her for a while and somehow I knew she was with me and I gave recall cue. And at that point in time, I knew she would take flight to me. If you have played at darts, there are some shots that felt sweet and that you know will hit exactly the point that you wanted the moment that dart left your finger. There is no mistaking that feeling. When you miss the mark, you never ever get that sweet feeling.

    I need not raise my voice in that distance, but I knew that she knew. Its just a strange mental feeling that happened in about one in every 3-4 recalls when I could not see her. Perhaps I noticed visual aspects in that distant grey on grey. Perhaps I just did know. And your choice to interprete as you like.

    That same person demanding that I submit a 'scientific paper' mentioned that she got bitten by her parrot as she tried to take note of the pinning of the eye before the bite. Now, the eyes may pin before the bite. The eyes may also pin very quickly before the bite. BUT, before the pinning of eyes, there are so many shades of feeling that the parrot will exhibit, that she is nervous, that she is unhappy, that she is very very unhappy, then they pin the eyes and bite. It is just sad that those entire range of emotional display from a parrot can be blissfully ignored and not taken noticed of.

    That is why I kind of insisted that you treat the parrot as friends and not something to be 'trained' and that you are the 'alpha' and commander.

    Before that, that had been occasional times I forgot to hook the line to the harness. I am sure she knew, but she never flew off from me and I had the feeling she was amused when I realised to my fright she was not hooked. It even got to a stage that harness and hooking of line was incorporated into a verbal check with my wife before we walked out of the apartment.

    And this is not something I encourage. In the last month before I left Taiwan, when I reached my apartment and before I go inside. I removed Tinkerbell's harness when we were in the open. That was done rather deliberately by me. She knew she was free. But she flew back to me from her motorbike perch and we walked into the apartment.


    Warmest regards

    Shanlung


    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/

  13. #13
    Egg's Cracking... shanlung's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    Meet YingShiong the shama

    I now have a shama called YingShiong
    http://www.livejournal.com/~shanlung/2005/10/14/

    The link is also in Tinkerbell webpage. I do not think
    she will mind it. In a way, YingShiong is a gift from
    Tinkerbell to me.


    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/

    ******************************************
    What is a shama , look here
    http://www.nfss.org/Birds/Species/So.../Shama-WR.html

    For some beautiful photos of prime shama in the wild,
    look here
    http://www.orientalbirdimages.org/se...t&Bird_ID=2560
    **********************************************





    Shanlung

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    UTSA Roadrunners '11 Fledgeling miss_emily07's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    WOW! This is truely amazing!
    Yours Truely, Emily


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    Egg's Cracking... shanlung's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    Emily,

    Thank you!

    Sorry I did not get back earlier. YingShiong is taking a lot of time, not that
    I mind one bit of it.

    I update the YingShiong blog at least daily so far. So my mistakes, blunders, silliness are recorded to remind me about what a fool I was in the future.

    Photos of him, and in flight are also in the blog. Click on 'next day' and on, and on, to see how it was, and how it will be.

    Shanlung

  16. #16
    I'm A budgieaholic Tailfeather kathy5's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    hi
    glad to see you here at TF
    I read your story on birds.com
    hello & welcome
    kathy
    my helpfull birdy page
    kathy's my space page
    kathy's facebook page

    please give clicks to help my number go up

  17. #17
    Egg's Cracking... shanlung's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    Kathy,

    Thank you.

    I do hope the day will come when Tinkerbell gets to meet Yingshiong and we all remain together. But looking at how the avian flu is developing, what I hope will remain wishful thinking as no countries will allow birds to cross over.

    Not that I can blame them.


    Shanlung

  18. #18
    Brand New Egg
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    Oh! What a cute picture! I ride a motorcycle too, and am tickled at the thought of sharing the experience with a feathered friend!

  19. #19
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    Taiwan is beautiful as is TInkerbell...I spent hours reading and viewing your pictures. All I can say is to me you are an inspriation to those who own birds and to show us there is no end to what we can teach them and what they can teach us. I thank you for sharing all of your experiences.

  20. #20
    Egg's Cracking... shanlung's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    Hello again,


    Purplerain, Thank you.


    YingShiong mash had been made and introduced
    to him. So far, he did not keel over and die as yet.

    I have been making daily entries of my experience with
    YingShiong my shama since I got him. You can follow
    that from YingShiong URL link in

    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/



    You can follow the mash making process from 2nd
    November below.

    http://www.livejournal.com/~shanlung/2005/11/

    The 'getting to know you' process with YS is finishing
    soon. In this
    period, he hovered to me like humming bird starting
    from a week ago. He was so timid and shy in the first
    couple of weeks that I despaired at trying with him
    what I did with Tinkerbell.

    What I have done with Tinkerbell may yet be impossible
    with YingShiong the shama.




    Photos of that hovering can be seen in
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/1329275/

    Use slide show and set at 1.5 seconds.


    I will be going into formal clicker training with
    him now.

    Even before that formal clicker training, it pleases
    me that 2 days ago, he flew and perched on my hand for
    the first time. That was to get his treat. But I am
    now hopeful that I can get him to fly to perch and to me
    on cue.

  21. #21
    Egg's Cracking... shanlung's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    Hi again,

    I gave myself 5 % chances of success at the beginning. I think my chances are twice as good and is now perhaps 10 % as the shama is such a shy bird.

    You can see the latest photographs of us taken by my wife yesterday.
    Yingshiong my shama trust me enough to fly to me and stand on my hand.





    This is the start of the process to train the bird to fly to me on cue, or what we describe as the recall.

    Much more training must be done before he can safely be flown in the open. The recall training is the start of that long process..

    More photos can be seen in this folder

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shimmertje/sets/1448139/

    The writeup to those photos can be read in



    http://www.livejournal.com/~shanlung/2005/11/26/


    Warmest regards

    Shanllung

  22. #22
    Brand New Egg
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    I just want to say how inspiring to see your pictures and read your training progress with the shama! I also liked reading Tinkerbells pages.

  23. #23
    Egg's Cracking... shanlung's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    Ellen,

    Thank you. I hope my writings help you and your bird to have a more fun filled life.

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaa


    A rescue that I am involved in



    At about 11 am 2 Dec 2005, I received a call from my
    friend CM. He was excited and explained to me he
    caught a very colorful bird walking around and unable
    to fly. We met up around noon to take over that bird.
    I was surprised that the bird was as colourful as he
    said and not exagerated at all.


    I bought a small cage on my way back to keept that
    bird safe while I try to bring him back to recovery. I
    placed in water and YS mash. I dared not keep that
    bird with Yingshiong and decided to quarantine it.


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/1493533/



    I did not know what this bird was and request from
    some of the bird groups I was in an indentification
    assistance. At least I need to know what this bird was
    and what to feed it. I could not find that on my own

    I received swift replies that the bird os a blue
    winged pitta and that the diet is similar to the
    shama.


    My friend CM saw it in a shopping mall. The pitta was
    unable to fly and was so weak as otherwise that clumsy friend of
    mine would not have been able to pick him up. CM was afraid
    that cats or dogs or other people could get at that poor bird.

    My first reaction was to decline when he called me on
    phone, which I did. Then I felt I could not just walk away, and
    changed my mind and went downtown to get the pitta from CM as he was going
    into a meeting for the whole afternoon.

    So it was karmic destiny that the pitta is now into my
    hands. I checked out and definately, the pitta was unable to
    fly meaningfully.




    So you understand my reluctance now to place the pitta
    back in the shopping mall. Especially more so as the pitta is
    weak.

    After my morning session with YS, I checked on the
    pitta again.

    The pitta is recovering and look much better today
    than yesterday after given Yingshiong mash which I thought is a good
    generic first fix as I guess that bird was an insectivore prior to
    identification. I thought that may be a babbler at first.

    I did have some fears of bird flu at first. I am much
    more relieved now and his former weakness might have been from lack
    of food, or inappropriate food. Might have been likely to be a
    captive bird not looked after properly and then abandoned to die in a
    shopping mall.

    Luckily for the pitta that I now do have some
    knowledge of insectivores, a far cry from the early days when I
    first came here and stood on a soapbox pleading for help.

    I added mealworms to the mash bowl and hopefully his
    strength be even better.

    With the intensive training of YS, and as I got a
    certifed killer Ivan at home, a spare room is now a temporary home for
    the pitta. I do not have time for another bird or even the
    facilities for another bird.

    When he is good and strong, I probably will take it to
    a more appropriate habitat and let him get on with his life.

    (more of above written in the livejournal diary and updated daily
    if you do like to follow this saga starting in

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/2005/12/02/

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/2005/12/03/

    )


    Shanlung

    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/

  24. #24
    Egg's Cracking... shanlung's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    "Yingshiong first graduation photographs"
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/1542477/





    YS graduation from flight room to apartment. You see
    YS flying to touch target. YS flying to my finger on
    pure recall (no waving of food) when cued. Last
    sequence showed YS in flurry of wings and legs but
    cheating as he did not touch target

    Best to use slideshow at 1.6 seconds


    Read


    http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/36423.html


    http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/37171.html



    Shanlung



    http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9/

  25. #25
    Next bird-English Budgie Tailfeather Pootspete's Avatar
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    Re: Tinkerbell - Love of a flying grey parrot in Taiwan

    What great pictures!

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