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Indoor recall training

Discuss topics associated with teaching birds to fly. Training parrots recall flight, target flying, and other flying exercises.

Indoor recall training

Postby sl8tr » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:45 pm

Hi everyone,

Slater my Congo African Grey is 2 and is fully flighted.

I've only recently (in the last week) started training Slater to recall. He seems to really like banana chips so I've removed those from his diet to use in training only.

He'll step if my hand is close enough for him to reach and has even stretched pretty far for the banana chip but that's as far as he'll go. If he has to hop to my hand to get the chip it's not happening. He'll pace and turn around like he really wants the treat but won't make the hop to the hand. I'm thinking the banana chip is not a high enough reward, he scared to make the hop or he just needs more time.

If anyone else has dealt with this I would realy like some suggestions?

Thanks
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sl8tr
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8
Location: Houston, TX
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Congo African Grey - Slater
Double Yellow Head Amazon - Chili
Red Fronted Macaw - Maccardi
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor recall training

Postby Michael » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:35 pm

This is why I came up with my Parrot Training Perches. Kili refused to fly or hop to my hand if it was one bit too far. However, when I did it with the training perches, she became more confident in their sturdiness and walked from perch to perch when targeted. But I tricked her by very slowly spreading them apart while continuing this exercise. Eventually she made a mistake and began to fall through the gap which forced her to flap. This had to happen for her to learn to flap her wings and before long she was flying across the gap. Here are some helpful resources about this method:

http://TrainedParrot.com/Taming
http://TrainedParrot.com/Recall
http://parrotwizard.com/Training_Perches
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=228
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Michael
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor recall training

Postby sl8tr » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:42 am

Hi Michael,

I tried using soy beans as a high treat reward as my grey LOVES soy beans. I stood about 10 feet from him and he flew to me almost immediately! I was thrilled and thought I finally figured this out; however, it only happend one other time and not since. I can tell he wants to fly to me for the soy bean by the way he paces back and forth and turns around but he eventually gives up.

So I know he can do it I just don't know why I can't get him to do this on que and when he knows I have his favorite treat.

Any advice?
Last edited by sl8tr on Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sl8tr
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8
Location: Houston, TX
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Congo African Grey - Slater
Double Yellow Head Amazon - Chili
Red Fronted Macaw - Maccardi
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor recall training

Postby Michael » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:50 am

What I said above. Start close and work your way out. Consistency, patience, and practice are key.
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Michael
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6205
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor recall training

Postby sl8tr » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:38 am

Hi Michael,

Great news! I've been practicing every day with Slater (CAG) and finally we did it. He made the leap to my hand and is now flying 10 or more feet to me on que!!!! The goal is to keep distancing myself from him until I am eventually out of sight and he has to come find me (that's a long way off). I was so excited. It's like a light bulb has come on in his head. As long as I have his favorite treat (soy bean) he'll fly to me.

I've noticed that he is more willing to fly to me before I give him his evening meal (I work full-time and evenings are best for training). Once he's eaten he seems less interested in flying to me. Is there anything you could suggest on how I can get him to fly to me even after a meal or when there are distractions?

When I que him he may not come the first time. If he doesn't come in a few seconds I'll lower my arms and try again in a few seconds. If after the 3rd attempt I'll move closer to him. He's very smart and I don't want him to think that if he waits long enough I'll eventally move closer to him and he doesn't have to fly as far. I suppose I can try again in a few minutes rather than moving closer?? What can you suggest?

Is it ever ok for him to fly to me without a que from me? I've been discouraging him from flying to me whenever he wants by not rewarding him when he does. Your thoughts.

I know it takes lots and lots of practice and i would never allow my bird(s) outside without a harness. Recall is great for many reasons but so important in the event any of my birds were to escape. Outdoors there will be many distractions and I would like to be able to train him to fly to me under any circumstance with lots of distractions.

Thank you Michael!!!
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sl8tr
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8
Location: Houston, TX
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Congo African Grey - Slater
Double Yellow Head Amazon - Chili
Red Fronted Macaw - Maccardi
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor recall training

Postby Michael » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:43 pm

Sometimes it is ok to move closer and other times it is not. If you are certain the bird doesn't want to recall or that it wants you to come closer, then don't. Sometimes, coming closer and getting that first recall will help encourage a farther recall the next time though. In that case it's ok. Regardless, always try to disconnect the coming closer from the failed recall. For example, after a failed recall, walk away and do something else and then come and try a closer recall.

Motivation is crucial to flight recall training. If the bird is particularly young, don't go too heavy on the food management. If it's a bit older, within reasonable bounds (and ideally with a good alternative test of motivation like doing a trick), experiment with increasing levels of food management. It is obvious that food based reinforcement will be ineffective after a meal. In the short term, just rely on training for food treats prior to meals. As the parrot gets better at flying and the cost of flight diminishes (stronger muscles, more confidence, etc), you can look into variable ratio reinforcement and alternative reinforcements. My parrots will recall to me when we are training and they are getting food for it, just for the hell of it, or for attention. Otherwise forget it. However, if I let them get bored enough, they will come just for attention, petting, etc.

It's ok to let your parrot fly to you on its own but it's important to differentiate between that and training. Don't reward those kinds of flights. When you see your parrot look like it's about to fly to you anyway, recall it. Then you can reward and get credit for doing a recall. This also teaches a form of stay as well. The parrot learns to signal you that it wants to come but if you don't recall, then it shouldn't. Don't let it land on your shoulder though. That will lead to a bad habit and will be annoying. Teach it to fly to your hand and then use being put on shoulder as another kind of reward.
User avatar
Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6205
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Indoor recall training

Postby sl8tr » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:14 am

Michael wrote:Sometimes it is ok to move closer and other times it is not. If you are certain the bird doesn't want to recall or that it wants you to come closer, then don't. Sometimes, coming closer and getting that first recall will help encourage a farther recall the next time though. In that case it's ok. Regardless, always try to disconnect the coming closer from the failed recall. For example, after a failed recall, walk away and do something else and then come and try a closer recall.

Motivation is crucial to flight recall training. If the bird is particularly young, don't go too heavy on the food management. If it's a bit older, within reasonable bounds (and ideally with a good alternative test of motivation like doing a trick), experiment with increasing levels of food management. It is obvious that food based reinforcement will be ineffective after a meal. In the short term, just rely on training for food treats prior to meals. As the parrot gets better at flying and the cost of flight diminishes (stronger muscles, more confidence, etc), you can look into variable ratio reinforcement and alternative reinforcements. My parrots will recall to me when we are training and they are getting food for it, just for the hell of it, or for attention. Otherwise forget it. However, if I let them get bored enough, they will come just for attention, petting, etc.

It's ok to let your parrot fly to you on its own but it's important to differentiate between that and training. Don't reward those kinds of flights. When you see your parrot look like it's about to fly to you anyway, recall it. Then you can reward and get credit for doing a recall. This also teaches a form of stay as well. The parrot learns to signal you that it wants to come but if you don't recall, then it shouldn't. Don't let it land on your shoulder though. That will lead to a bad habit and will be annoying. Teach it to fly to your hand and then use being put on shoulder as another kind of reward.




Thank you Michael for your great avdice!
User avatar
sl8tr
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8
Location: Houston, TX
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Congo African Grey - Slater
Double Yellow Head Amazon - Chili
Red Fronted Macaw - Maccardi
Flight: Yes


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