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Kili Knocking Truman Off Perches

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Kili Knocking Truman Off Perches

Postby Michael » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:40 am

Kili has been getting some feathers back and flying much better lately. While on one hand she has been putting it to good (flight recalls), she has also been using it for evil (flying Truman off of his perches). I don't get involved in this but I can see it driving insecurity in Truman and his training is being adversely affected.

Short of not taking the two birds out at the same time, does anyone have any ideas about how to reduce this buzzing behavior? If Truman stood his ground or fought back, I'm sure it would reduce it but he just flies away. Sometimes he'll start flying away just at the sound of Kili and not even a direct attack.

Anyone have this same problem? Anyone been able to solve it?
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Re: Kili Knocking Truman Off Perches

Postby Kathleen » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:00 pm

There's a possible solution, but I doubt it's something you'd consider doing. And that's rearranging your entire living space so that everything seems random and new and the birds have to reestablish perceived "territory".
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Re: Kili Knocking Truman Off Perches

Postby pchela » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:12 pm

Pippin does this as well. It's really irritating. He's a master buzzer and I don't understand why the other birds let him get away with it. None of them will stand their ground, just like Truman. If anybody has advice, I'd love to hear it as well.
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Re: Kili Knocking Truman Off Perches

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:17 pm

It's not a herd of horses, but if it were, the advice would go something like "make sure there are more piles of hay than horses". The salient point being, you probably can't stop a bully from being a bully, but you can make sure that the bullying doesn't actually deprive anybody. FWIW.
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Re: Kili Knocking Truman Off Perches

Postby Mona » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:00 pm

I'm pretty sure it's a Senegal thing....Babylon has the tendency. When she met Bailey, she flew to him and waved, waved, waved. When he didn't respond (because he didn't recognize the flirt) she knocked him off his perch. This stopped when he returned her advances by feeding her and later, it stopped all together when she became more interested in Jack than Bailey.

About the only thing you can do is modify the behavior by avoiding it. When and where you know Kili will do it, don't have them out together. Do have them out together when she is not likely to do it...which is going to be unfamiliar environments. In a larger environment, they can fly together and by creating flock cooperation this may help modify the tendency to some extent.

Basically, modifying this behavior will take a strategy. You will have to figure out how to predict it via observation and modify the environment to prevent it. (might mean taking them out one at a time)....Then you have to positively reinforce them when they are out together and Kili DOESN'T do it. You can also set up situations where they are both out playing together with separate toys....The toys have to be ones that they don't covet from each other. You might have them out and give them each a nut in a shell so they are both busy opening the nut. At least, make sure Kili is always busy doing something so she doesn't decide to fly after Truman.

I think you are going to have to do some analyses (which you are good at) and look at modifying this using lots of different strategies. This is not a simple behavior to change once the bird has learned how to do it and finds it reinforcing. If Truman can't stand up for himself, Kili will probably continue to do this.....

So in general terms 1) Reinforce when they are together and Kili is NOT flying at Truman. Reinforce cooperative behaviors. 2) Avoid predictable situations when you know Kili is going to fly at Truman.

Mine fly big spaces together and I do think that probably modified the tendency so it isn't necessarily aggressive with Babylon....more of a game that she invites the other bird to join her in....She does fly at birds on occassion but not often and it's seldom a problem. On the flip side, she does get a little crazy around blonde hair and that can be a problem.

I think you will probably have to spend time looking at what happens to precede the behavior and what happens after the behavior to help you better predict it.....

Sorry, this isn't an easy one. Good luck. Sorry, running out the door so gotta go.

Thanks!

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Re: Kili Knocking Truman Off Perches

Postby Michael » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:14 pm

I kind of tried to address this issue tonight and it worked for the most part. However, the problem is that this was during training. Lately it's been impossible to leave the birds out for unsupervised time near me without Kili doing this.

I think the big issue right now is that Kili got her full flight back. Around when I got Truman, she broke several primaries till she only had one left. Now she's back up to three and getting stronger. She's been flying an awful lot lately and doing complex maneuvers she'd never done before. She seems to be really excited about being able to fly and wants to show off. She has probably been jealous of Truman being so good at flying and now wants to show what she can do. We've been doing an enormous amount of flight recalls lately because that seems to be all she wants to do.

When I just got Truman and Kili was still able to fly, she would dive bomb him. But quite soon after she lost her feathers and the amount of effort to fly at him didn't justify the sadistic pleasure. Now that flight is easier for her again, she's doing it all over again. As long as it drives Truman away, it rewards her. Setting things up differently isn't really an option. She just targets him and flies by him to drive him off. I still cannot figure out for sure if it is out of aggression, play, or flock flying. They do fly around my place a bit together but I can't exactly decipher who is chasing whom or whatnot.

During training, if I am very quick, I can play/train one bird while the other eats a treat. Then I reward the other bird and do a trick with the other, etc. I go back and forth between birds and work with whoever is most ready/motivated. This rivalry definitely does spike motivation to new levels! But at the same time I'm trying to avoid this rivalry during non training time.

This last training sessions, Truman was having a bad start. He wasn't recalling to me. My suspicions were correct. He is nervous about getting knocked off by Kili, so he is not paying attention to me. When I got Kili out of the picture by rewarding her and protecting Truman from her, he got much better at his flight recalls too.

All of this may be partly my fault because of two things. One I set up a little training rivalry on purpose. Second is that I've been chasing Truman off of places I don't want him to go. Perhaps Kili has taken it upon herself to finish the job and chase him off of everywhere he's SUPPOSED to be!!!!! That is the most aggravating part. I'll chase Truman off the fridge and he lands on his training perch. I think to myself "wonderful! he's learning where he belongs." And then Kili flies out of nowhere just to chase him off of there and all my work goes to waste! I try to punish Truman for landing on my things and then Kili punishes him for landing on her things which just sends him back to landing on mine! It's not a safe/positive environment I want to enforce and certainly Truman's training/confidence has been suffering from this. I'm going to need to reevaluate my strategies and figure out new methods to apply. This is a dilemma/study in progress and I'll report my findings.
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