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Having trouble teaching how to fly

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Having trouble teaching how to fly

Postby Raque » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:47 pm

My 11 year old CAG :gray: , Missy, has had full flight feathers since I got her 6 months ago but her previous owner clipped her wings for many years when she was young. I know Missy can fly because if something startles her, her instincts take over and she flies...and then gets freaked out that she is flying but always seems to land safely. However, other then when she is startled, she doesn't fly and I am having trouble teaching her.

I tried Michael's method. She will step across from perch to perch, but the second the perches get too far apart for her to reach with her leg or beak she gives up instantly. No amount of prodding or teats gets her to even try.

Does anyone else have any recommendations or other methods for teaching her how to fly?
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Re: Having trouble teaching how to fly

Postby Weka » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:02 pm

Aw, poor Missy.

My Skeeter might have the same problem; we shall see. How long have you tried to get her to go to the other perch? Is she slightly nervous around it? It just might be a matter of time and patience. Also, when are you trying to train her? I find that Skeets is more alert/receptive around 8:00-10:00am than, say, the late afternoon or evening.


Best,

Weka
She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot. -- Mark Twain

Providing a forever home for Skeeter, an 11-year-old male red bellied. :redbelly:
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Re: Having trouble teaching how to fly

Postby rebcart » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:07 pm

I wonder if it would be beneficial to have the perches un-level (as in, one perch is obviously higher than the other). If you target her from the top perch to the bottom perch, she will do a hop downwards rather than reaching across, and it will both be less obvious to her that the distance has increased, and there's a greater chance she'll try to steady herself with wings while hopping.
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Re: Having trouble teaching how to fly

Postby Michael » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:48 pm

My greenwinged macaw is so weak that I'm afraid that she'll plop on the floor if I try to have her hop/fly between perches. So for now I am working on muscle rehabilitation to even get to that stage. I run around with her on my arm every day so she would flap and build up a minimum amount of strength. Then it will be back to the training perch training method.

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Re: Having trouble teaching how to fly

Postby Cynthia » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Well Luci is 14 going to be 15 in April 2014. She was clipped by her previous owner for the majority of her life. I found out she can fly and do it rather well but I have had no success getting her to do recall so far. I know she is probably scared, that I can understand. I now have a new game plan. I just opened up my telescoping training perches and can't wait to see if this will help me get the ball rolling. She has flown twice, she circle a large room and landed on top of Poe's cage, she also flew into the foyer with no problem and landed quite gracefully on my entrance table. So I know she can fly. I know if I let another bird out she would take off flying but I am afraid she would run into a wall and hurt herself. That method worked for smaller bird (Rose Breasted Cockatoo) I have that I don't think ever would have flown if I hadn't put her out with another bird of similar size. In fact I didn't do it for that reason it just happen when I was trying to socialize my Queen of Bavaria Bailey with Murphy. Now Murphy that had never fledged as a baby is the best flyer in the house. Luci has a massive wing span and my experience with Palms is they get startled pretty easy. Poe my other Palm does recall great but if something startles him he spirals out of control and in this room the ceilings are 23 feet tall, he goes all the way up and then comes down very fast and has hit the wall a couple of times and it scares me to death! Normally if all is good he flys from point A to B to C and all is ok. There is nothing like another bird to help get the ball rolling but not with large birds like my Palms, I don't think! I am going to try Michaels method as seen on his video's and will let you know if it works for me. By the way I put the new stands out and Poe and Luci totally freaked out flying the opposite direction. Well after seeing the video of Michael putting Santina right on the stand, that reaction was a little disappointing to say the least! Anyway I put one in the main room where the cages are and one in another room where I often take the birds and after a couple of days in site no problem Poe landed on his new training perch. Now I need to get luci flying first off and use to a least sitting on them. Ok Michael any suggestions?
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Re: Having trouble teaching how to fly

Postby Kaiit » Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:47 pm

I know this topic is a bit old and chances are you've worked something out by now, but this is exactly the problem I had with my amazon when I brought him home. He'd had his wings clipped as a baby, then spent 19 years thinking he wasn't able to fly. I know he could because, like your bird, he panic-flew. When he panic flew, however, he'd crash land into things, sometimes really hard, so I knew this was going to have to be something I worked on instantly.

First thing I ever tried was Michael's method. I had already got him to step up easily enough, and I was able to get him to cross a large gap between the perches, but he would not cross a gap that he couldn't touch with his beak! Not even for his favourite foods; he just did not understand what I wanted him to do. Lowering the perch from his height didn't work either. This went on for months, a little bit every day, and he never got it.

Eventually, and this bit is going to sound controversial, I tried a new technique. He loves his cage, it's his haven - his cage is where he safe, calm and comfortable. He loves his cage so much he used to flap his wings to, I don't know what he was thinking, maybe to move my hand quicker? Anyway, the point is the only thing stopping him from flying was that he was holding onto my hand. So I dropped my hand one day, suddenly - not very far but quick enough for him to let go. He wasn't expecting it and flew instantly. Now, I know this could have been terrible for our bond but it wasn't - nothing bad came out of it and he was rewarded instantly for flying to his cage. I reinforced our bond by picking him up again, shouting with him (y'know, in parrot noises, which he loves) and rewarding him with more food.

That hand-dip turned into his signal to fly, and it didn't take him long to learn it. I now have no problem with getting him to fly and I don't have to worry about him crash-landing and hurting himself. When he panic flies now (when he's seen a hawk or a crow or a pigeon!) he just loops the room and lands back on his cage/ stand.

It was a bit of a risky strategy and not one I've ever read about, but it worked for my parrot. The only reason it did though, I hasten to add, is because he was already flapping vigorously. Also, he is not a grey and doesn't take things personally. He still won't fly from perch to perch, but he will fly from hand to hand!
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Re: Having trouble teaching how to fly

Postby Shelby » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:43 pm

I know it's been a while since you originally asked your question, but I just remembered something that might help you! I saw a girl training her bird on youtube a while ago (I forgot who it was or I'd post a link...) and like Santina, his wings were really weak! So she actually started by teaching him the "big wings" trick (you cue them to open up their wings all the way). At first it was just a little flap open and closed, then she worked on having him keep his wings open longer and longer. She did this by waiting just a tiny bit longer before clicking each time she cued. At first this was really hard for him to keep his wings open for more than a second and you could see him really struggling to do it, but eventually he could keep his wings open for quite a while waiting for the clicker, which became his cue to close his wings again. This way he was building wing muscle and in her later videos after this we was much more confident in their flight training sessions using a perch-to-perch method.
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