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Rings on Peg Trick

Exchange information about how to teach specific tricks to parrots. Most of these techniques should apply to all bird species. Share your success stories.

Rings on Peg Trick

Postby Michael » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:19 am

I bought some props to teach Kili this trick. She learned how to put the ring on a peg in five minutes. However, it's been several days and she is still completely clueless about matching the rings to the color. I'm only working with two colors for now and give her one ring at a time or both rings at a time.

I have tried to practice with one ring/peg at a time with the proper colors. So I'll give her the pink ring and show only pink peg. Then I'll toss the purple ring for her to bring onto the purple peg. Then I try giving her just pink ring but showing purple and pink peg. There is no color consistency. If I bias the trick and put rings closer or in better view of the correct peg she does it right. So I could totally cheat the trick and make it look like it works but I don't want that. I want her to discern the colors and match them correctly. So in the long term I will definitely mix up the rings/pegs at random.

I understand that with practice she may start to remember better and maybe figure out about the color deal. But is there anything I can do to expedite this color learning process? Is there any better training technique that I can use that will draw more attention to the need to match colors (obviously I don't reward incorrect attempts but she gets so excited and proud of herself for getting the rings on the peg that she forgets all else)? Anyone had success teaching this trick or any color based trick?
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Michael
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Re: Rings on Peg Trick

Postby greatgriffin » Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:38 am

Hi Michael
Honestly, the rings-on-peg trick was the absolutely most difficult one to teach for me. And I think again it was my problem not the bird's - I needed to figure out the correct way to direct her. I initially thought I should break the trick down into steps. So first I made her pick up the rings and I rewarded for that. Then I tried and tried to make her understand what the peg was there for but it just would not work.
Then I realized (after a couple of weeks) that I am on the wrong track. So I switched strategies and I held the ring in my palm very close to the top of the peg so that she could simply pull it off and onto the peg. Then I kept increasing the distance and I also lowered my hand, and then I omitted the hand thing altogether. And then it worked.

As far as colors are concerned, I have noticed in my "bottle cap" trick that she prefers picking up the caps in a certain order according to color, but it is not really consistent. It could be possible to teach this to her but I think it is a very complex trick and maybe not all parrots are going to understand what they are supposed to do. I know African greys are capable - there was this famous one who even said the color and material of things.

Keep on trying and good luck
Tom
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Re: Rings on Peg Trick

Postby Michael » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:38 am

Actually, like I said, it was really easy to teach Kili to get the rings on the peg. She probably knows a half dozen retrieve based tricks already so she picked up on this very very quickly. She immediately learned to pick the ring up and bring it over to the vicinity of the peg just because I said fetch and pointed to the ring and to the peg. Now getting it on the peg was a different story. I basically had her bring it over and directed it with my fingers to get it on the peg for her and then clicked. I guess her beak touched the peg so for the longest time what she thought she had to do was drop the ring on peg and then tap peg with beak. Maybe the peg reminds her of target stick. So it's funny she'll drop the rings on peg and tap the peg. Hey, whatever works. The only problem I have now is that she is so excited to get the ring on the peg that she doesn't pay attention to what color it is.

I just want to hear from someone who had success teaching a parrot to put the right colors on the right pegs. How long did it take, what made them realize it was color based? I don't want to give up but I would like to know what I could do to get there and I want to know that it isn't a dead end road.
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Michael
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Re: Rings on Peg Trick

Postby Mona » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:06 pm

I do rings on a peg and Tani told me the birds can be taught to verbally identify colors....but I have not successfully taught that part of it. I tend to manipulate the props to get them on the right ring.

Kiri identifies shapes on a puzzle and she can put them in the right spot on her own....but I haven't noticed that she knows colors.

I have no doubt that they CAN learn it. You just have to make it important to them and have a lot of time and patience.
Mona in Seattle
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Re: Rings on Peg Trick

Postby Michael » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:44 pm

I know they can discern colors but I want to know if there are any tricks/methods for making it click in that little bird brain that it's not just about putting the ring on the peg but the peg that is the same color. She gets so carried away with the process of getting the ring on the peg that she doesn't notice the colors!
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Michael
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes


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