Aug 3

The new Good Bird magazine looks like a conspiracy among friends. Hillary Hankey writes about kitchen manners (ho boy — I just realized what an odd juxtaposition of words that is), Mandy Andrea writes about getting an adult bird to make those first steps toward flying, Grace Innemee talks about training a Jackdaw (and is also the “Animal Lover” profiled), and I adapted the recall article on my web site for the magazine. Carly snuck in to one of the photos of Grace as well.

Since I have almost no photos of Carly’s indoor training, we had hoped to feature photos of Barb Saunders doing recall training with some adult birds she has taken in, many of whom were unable to fly and/or had severely damaged feathers. Unfortunately we weren’t able to locate the high-resolution versions quickly enough to meet a tight deadline before it went to press in June.

So here are the photos of Barb’s birds learning recall in her aviary and looking spectacular compared to when they arrived.

Phil the Philippine Blue-Naped Parrot doing the famous “big lean” while working on getting the first jump-flap. (For hints on that, see Mandy’s article.) Phil’s was so scraggly when he arrived that he almost had no usable wings at all.

Peaches the Moluccan doing a recall in the aviary to Barb’s hand.

Ronnie the Galah flying to Barb, just learning and on a roll that day!

Fred the Bare-eyed Corella learning to fly down. One of my favorite all-time photos. He was a wild man when Barb first got him and he’s become a great trained flyer.

The article is here, but you should really go get the whole magazine at Good Bird Inc. if you aren’t already a subscriber. (It may be a day or two before the new issue is linked.)

This is from the recall article, and very funny in light of the recent posts about recall vs flight skills:

Also, when teaching flight skills and recall (they’re not the same thing), sometimes it can be necessary to work on each separately. You can do one whole session of easy recalls, just to get and keep that behavior well trained. Then do another later when you work some of the more difficult skills.

Notice I didn’t say you can train one but not the other, or “decide which one you want NOW.” You can use one daily recall training session to really push the skills, and another at slightly lower difficulty to work on the very fast snappy response. The two complement each other very well. There is absolutely no need to neglect recall training to teach flight skills, or vice versa.

Barb and her birds and aviary will be featured in an upcoming blog post.

(Note: the photo in the article of Daphne should read Ducorps Cockatoo, and credited just to Barb.)


Summer Issue of Good Bird

Posted by Raz on Jul 22nd, 2008
Jul 22

The Summer 2008 issue of Good Bird magazine is out, and there are some great articles including teaching an emergency recall; how to prepare for, prevent, and deal with a lost parrot situation; and how to use training logs. There are also sample training logs available for download at the website. I highly recommend keeping a weight and behavior log, whether training or not. It’s so hard to remember details of what was happening months later, and very hard to detect patterns of behavior without a good log.

Purchase downloadable PDF issues here, and download free training logs: Good Bird Magazine .


Update: Good Bird Article PDF

Posted by Raz on Jun 28th, 2008
Jun 28

An alert reader let me know that the Good Bird article PDF file linked on the Recall Training page was missing the last page. It’s now complete and is also a higher quality PDF file.

Carly Gets Her Wings: Flight Training an Unfledged African Grey Parrot