Today we are celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of Carly’s first official fledging. Since she was clipped as a young baby, she only really did startle flights until we started to train for recall. We started recall with walking, but the first part of flight training involved learning to take off — by jumping off a countertop onto my arm. It took almost 2 weeks from the time we started for her to work up the courage to voluntarily jump through the air that short 12 inches or so. Lots of strrreetching and plotting to find, other ways around it to get to me. But she always tried. And when we didn’t get the jump, we’d end with some long stretching step-ups to keep things positive. But on July 26, 2006, at 18 months and 6 days old, she finally made the big breakthrough! After that there was no stopping her and she became a jumping and flapping fool — even with only a few flight feathers grown in. She clearly liked the activity, and would even leave her dinner after training to come do some more jumps.
The process we followed and resources we used are described in the Indoor Recall Training article on the Recall Training page.
Here are some shots from today, at age 3 yrs 6 months & 6 days. Lots of diving and screaming. But her enthusiasm was just as great on those first hops.
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