Autumn in San Diego

Posted by Raz on Nov 22nd, 2008
Nov 22

OK, so it’s always beach weather here, but we do have an apple season too!

Some recent pics.

Fall means… the beaches are ours again!


Carly and Piper meet the skinniest apples ever.


And, doing their part to help the economy, Carly and Piper work hard to remedy slumping numbers in new home construction.

joe the builder

more in galleries…


September Beach Flying

Posted by Raz on Sep 7th, 2008
Sep 7

The beaches are getting less crowded, though the weather is still lovely.    Carly and the macaws haven’t been out to the beach in almost 2 weeks because we’ve been busy moving, so it was nice to let them get some sea breeze in their wings.

Piper came along and strolled on my shoulder, and Carly was far less attentive to other men. She even let several red-headed guys get away! Piper is already wanting to take off and fly with her when she goes, but we haven’t done very much training yet. But clearly he’s going to be an enthusiastic beach flyer! Carly did some big flights at the very beginning and end of the outing, but in between she stayed on my shoulder or did short flights most of the time. Protective of “her” baby I think.

I realized how tolerant she is of him she really is today when she made the ultimate sacrifice: she moved over and gave up the highly coveted left shoulder position when we were walking. Sometimes they both sat on the left shoulder and sometimes she let him have the whole thing. Now that’s love.

Unfortunately there may not be many photos of greys in flight at the beach for awhile — certainly not as good as the ones you’ve been seeing! Hugh and the boys are moving back to Philadelphia. So look for some new Redfront scenery in your inbox if you’re on one of the flight photos lists.

Here are a couple from today. This one reminds me of an eagle soaring.


And here she is going into a diving flip…

carly diving flip

Photos by Hugh Choi.
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The Mystery of the Red-headed Man

Posted by Raz on Aug 3rd, 2008
Aug 3

In response to queries about our “lost” posting to Craigslist on Friday evening, here are the details of what happened. I will post more later about how we’re dealing with this incident from a training standpoint.

Carly went into full-force femalehood this spring and became obsessed with red-headed guys when we were out. She would want to sit on them (sometimes half an hour before I pulled her away) and literally gazed up into their eyes, nibbled on their ears, wanted head scratches. Then when we would walk away she would often fly right back relentlessly. I had to be careful to keep an eye out for them, and really watch her behavior carefully when she was out flying to see if she was getting into that “mood shift” because it was a hard pattern to break once it got started. I also kept her doing shorter flyabouts and treated frequently for just staying with me and doing little tricks. We also did lots of short A-B recalls with the RHGs that she found, so she could interact with them in a more healthy way. And it had subsided a lot over the last month…. until Friday.

While flying over the houses by La Jolla Shores, she apparently saw a RHG sitting by the pool at one of the condos, and went down to investigate. Strange because she’s been much better with that in the last month, but she found one on the beach earlier who adored her too, and once she gets it in her head…. Also, we were out flying with Wendy Craig and Samantha, who came out to deliver Piper (Carly’s new Grey friend, now 4 months old). Carly was a little perturbed about that at home, but seemed to be behaving just fine at the beach without him around.

Anyway, she disappeared from sight when she ducked behind the condo and I couldn’t find her anywhere. Searched for hours, up until dark, calling, putting up flyers, etc. Turns out that within probably half an hour of her disappearing, the condo manager had been contacted, she contacted a local bird store, they contacted a veterinarian couple who had a missing Grey, and someone drove Carly out to their house. 20 miles from where we live. We were reunited via Craigslist about 10pm last night. She was already settled in to bed, and the couple was coming this way in the morning, so she had a slumber party there with their other grey last night. So the whole 6 hours or so I was searching, she was in someone’s house in La Mesa eating grapes :-) Some of the condo people called this morning, and that’s when I found out, yes, it was a strawberry blond guy.

Now we have to do some more work on this red-headed guy issue. I’d been letting her have a lot of freedom to do very long flies lately since she’s been handling them well, but I’ll go back to keeping her a bit closer and doing some “remedial” recall drills as a refresher, then see how things progress with her little infatuations. And if she is ever is missing again I will not even waste my time thinking she might be sitting outside in a tree somewhere or off exploring! She seemed quite tired when she got home, and was also very cranky until late in the day (keeping to herself, stepping up but then biting, not eating much.) She was driven out to the vet’s house in a laundry basket; not too much to her liking. Ironically, it was these infatuations that orginally got me thinking it might be a good time for Carly to have a grey buddy. She was in better spirits by evening after some alone time and a nap.

As for Piper — not really pals yet, but things seem to be calming down quickly. He is adorable and very sweet, and confident enough to hold his own. I think they’ll work it out just fine. They are already sharing gyms without any trouble, and Carly has been showing a lot of interest in watching him, not just chasing him!

Many thanks to Dr. Cheryl Clark for taking Carly in (and best wishes for finding her lost grey). Cheryl just happens to know Barbara Heidenreich, Susan Friedman, Lee McGuire, and the Gabriel Foundation folks — so Carly was in great hands. Also to the people at the condo — especially the manager — for making the effort to track down an owner, and the staff at Birdland San Diego for their assistance, and several people who called with information after seeing our flyers. (Highly recommended: It was so nice having a big stack of pre-made flyers to put up right away.) All together only about a 6 and a half hour ordeal, but I feel 20 years older!

Pictures and posts on Piper soon!


Lazy Gull Chase

Posted by Raz on Jun 3rd, 2008
Jun 3

This was a long chase, but rather slow and easy. Who was the chaser and who was the “chasee” changed a couple of times.


The whole sequence here.
About beach flying.


Memorial Weekend Photos

Posted by Raz on May 26th, 2008
May 26

Just a few pics from our Memorial Day weekend outing on Saturday. The beach was blessedly uncrowded because it had been cold and rainy earlier in the day. Every one was doing very low flights for some reason, including the seagulls. My favorite of the day:


Low flying…



We found a stranded baby seal late in the day and stood watch for awhile. That gave Carly a lot of time to make friends.


She was her normal friendly self today, not the flirty, lovestruck teenager she has been this spring. Her intense “coming of age” seems to be coming to an end. Her excessive grooming of a “brood patch” and nipping at her wing feathers has thankfully stopped also. Here you can see her big fuzzy belly.


More pictures in the gallery.


flips & fakeouts

Posted by Raz on May 4th, 2008
May 4

Sometimes the foursome flying turns into a “missing man” formation when Carly takes a dive. (All photos by Hugh Choi.)

Carly coming in for a landing…