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Need recommendations for wing physical therapy exercise

Tazlima

Sprinting down the street
Joined
3/7/19
Messages
575
Finally have an update here.

Two months ago, I put Boo's food dish on a separate surface from her cage (used two plastic storage bins, side-by-side) so she had to step across a gap to reach it, then slowly started widening the gap. When we started, she was afraid to even step across a 1/2 inch opening, so it's been a long road.

As of a few days ago, with the most recent incremental increase, she FINALLY overcame her fear and mastered the "jump and flap" method of crossing. I waited to post here until I was sure it wasn't a fluke, but she's done it two or three times a day since then, so she's definitely worked it out.

SHE ACTUALLY TRUSTS HER WINGS A TEENY TINY BIT!

It's the first time I've seen her voluntarily use her wings for transportation in any form (as opposed to the terrified breaking of a fall). There's none of the anxiety-ranging-to-panic associated with previous flapping either. It's intentional and controlled.

I just wanted to let people know, partly as a general update, and partly because it's one thing to hear "working with birds can take a long time" and another thing to witness the time scale playing out.
 

Tazlima

Sprinting down the street
Joined
3/7/19
Messages
575
Hi all. It's been a long, slow road, but we hit a major milestone today. Boo flew all the way across the room and stuck the landing!

Over the past year and change, I slowly moved her food stand further from her cage.

Eventually she stalled out at about 2.5 feet of distance and didn't seem to be progressing further, so I raised the food stand. That way she would have to either ascend or descend, or take off from a vertical surface rather than a horizontal one.

She chose to go the straight line, but had to use her wings at another angle and become comfortable with a different landing position, so it was still good therapy.

Her flights slowly became less panicky and more controlled. At one point, I added a dangling rope blocking her path. She handled this obstacle by climbing down the rope, then flapping to swing herself over to the stand. A year ago, she would never have done that.

Recently, she again reached a point where she had clearly mastered the current setup, so I decided it was time to push her limits on the distance front and rearranged things again.

That brings us to tonight. The other birds had a little spook about who knows what, and Boo took flight as well. Previously, on the rare occasions she spooked, she would flutter to the floor and flap-slide until she bumped into an obstacle.

This time, she maintained her height and landed on the back of the couch!

She still has a long way to go. She hasn't worked out how to ascend or (intentionally) descend, and she doesn't know how to turn. However, she's come SO FAR, and it's delightful to see. She uses her wings much more freely now for things like balancing, and she recently started to do "test flaps" before taking flight.

I can't wait to see what she does next!
 
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