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Blue&Gold dose not like going 'off balance'

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by SpecialistElbru, 3/18/17.

  1. SpecialistElbru

    SpecialistElbru Sprinting down the street

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    I am working with a Blue and Gold Macaw that is just under 1 year old. Unfortunately she was clipped before she learned to fly, so I am thinking that could be part of the problem.

    I have been watching YouTube videos with macaws climbing ropes and climbing around at all angles, doing tricks like role over, and hanging upside down. But it seams like the she does not do things that require her body to not be level. She has multiple natural perches in her cage and she will go from perch to perch, but I don't seam to remember her climbing on the bars the way other parrots do.

    I am doing toweling desensitize training like Barbara Heidenreich and it is along fine as long as I am sure to hold the bird straight. I have been looking at role over tricks and hanging on my hand by the feet tricks. Even in the middle of a flat table I pushed on the bird so that she is just a bit off balance and she became highly annoyed when I only put her off balance by only a small amount. I stopped doing this as soon as I realized it was bothering her.

    I started trying to desensitize her to being off balance with the following method. I sit down on a bench and hold my torso straight up and down. I then hold her against my chest and pet her on the head. I then start to lean back on the bench so that the bird and I at the same angle. I usually don't have to lean back too far before she becomes nippy. I will then straighten back up and keep petting her on the head so that she will calm.

    I've had cockatoos who will move to a new perch by grabbing it with there beak first then transferring their feet over. This will put the bird's body at an odd angle, but the bird doesn't seam to mind. I have seen this video with a fully-flighted macaw on ropes high up in the air transferring and swinging.

    Is it a thing that young Macaws will refuse to put there bodies in a non-horizontal position? Does it happen when birds that are clipped before learning to fly?

    I have a few ideas I haven't tried yet. I have the bird target trained. I'm thinking about getting a bushy piece of dead tree and mount it firmly. I can put her on one Branch. I will target her to different places and see if I can get her to climb around on uneven parts of the branch, or get her to climb from branch to branch. Another thing I am thinking about is to mount a rope to a firm perch and target her so that she will need to put one foot on the rope and one on the perch to reach the target.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. Macawnutz

    Macawnutz Seriously Nutz! Super Administrator AA Advertising Exec Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    She is young, does she have enough room available to try these things on her own?

    Flipping them around and holding them in strange positions comes with trust. When she trusts you she may allow more.

    For now I would be making sure she has the room to climb, giving her nets and atoms may help.
     
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  3. SpecialistElbru

    SpecialistElbru Sprinting down the street

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    When I originaly posted about Calypso, I said ...

    It may have been some sort of selective memory because, on the Friday after I posted, I started watching her, and she does climb on the cage bars the way other parrots do. That Friday, I had a piece of jute rope. The first day I introduced her to the rope, I tried tying it between a perch and a tree, but I was not able to put any tension on the rope. She was however interested on mouthing the rope. Using targeting I was able to get her to put one foot on the rope (the other on the perch) as she reached the target.

    About a week after that Friday, I bought a cord tightener and was able to create a setup with paracord and jute rope. I was able to get about 30 or 40 pounds of tension on the rope. At this tension, the rope would hardly sag with Calypso's weight. I started targeting her towards the rope, and it was amazing. Calypso took to the rope like a duck to water. :justducky: She would stay on the rope even after she compleated the task. She would stay on the rope to eat her treats and she would stay there just to be near me. She walked all the way across and tried to get on the paracord setup, but that part was not designed to be conducive for a bird to walk across. I started targeting her to travel between the rope and the perch.

    I'm fairly certain that no one else had introduced Calypso to tight rope walking. It was amazing to see her learn her balance.
    :ballerina: :wow:
    As ropes do, the rope would twist like a low kappa value torsion spring , but she would turn her ankle to counter the motion. Part of the this was her learning how to hold her body constant on the twisting rope. Towards the end of the day, I was targeting her to crouch her head low for the target I was also targeting her to hold her head high to reach the target.

    I know that her ability to walk on a rope was part of her instincts, but It was amazing watching her blend her basic instincts with her ability reach a goals that require a highter mental function. :dance5:
     
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  4. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    I would say that is the "root" and most contributing part of the problem. Her confidence has never been built. And she's really young.

    Fledging is "vitally" important for confidence and ability as I'm sure you know. I would bet money that if you took this bird for a car ride that it would get car sick for the same reason.

    You may or may not have read.
    Thinking on the Wing | The Parrot University, llc
     
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  5. Macaw Lover

    Macaw Lover Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    Kalea is my Little Monkey who climbs and hangs off my finger, the cups on the stand even my pants. When she came to me her wings were clipped and flying was something she never did but she loves laying on her back in the palm of my hand while I kiss her tummy.

    Jody is more of a perch potato. Don't even think of rolling her on her back or hang from anything unless you want a really serious bite.

    Donovan I don't think was clipped and is a great flier but don't attempt putting him off balance, upside down or on his back unless you want some surgery done on your body.

    I feel how a baby is raised, if the human played with them at an early age, rolled them on their backs and kissed their tummies and such is what will determine more how playful a bird will be later, not if they learned to fly or not.

     
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  6. Bokkapooh

    Bokkapooh Ripping up the road Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    How long have you been trying to work with her? That may also be the thing. She doesn't trust you enough to become off balanced while in your presence.
     
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  7. SpecialistElbru

    SpecialistElbru Sprinting down the street

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    The original post is a bit over a year old and Calypso is now Two years old, so doing a bit of a late follow up.


    We let Calypso's feathers grow out and he is now flying on the Aviator harness. He does seam a bit more confident and after working with him, he is now more trusting of me and he will let me hole him on his back. He still wants to hold onto my fingers if I have him laying in my hand on his Back.

    I am continuing to work and train with him. He is sensitive to how quickly I turn him over. If I do it too quickly he will object and possibly nip at me. If I turn him over slowly he is ok with it and most of the time he will remain playful in the upside-down position.
     
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  8. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    Thanks for the update. Good to hear from you and that things are going well. :)
     
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