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2016-Jan Blog

January 27, 2016 - Flash's Training - Stationing - Week 6

This video is a reminder that sometimes things can go wrong. I have been working with Flash for 5 weeks now. Most people would think Flash should be an expert the accomplishment of stationing on the branch while his bowl is being placed in his cage.  Flash has long history of use of aversive, as noted in my December 14 blog.  (Aversive/Pairing are a tough combination. Aversive, in short, is something the bird dislikes(wants to escape or avoid)  and pairing, in this relationship, is an object/person related to the aversive.  
Great Example for Humans: Many folks, i know, dislike bees so much so they will kill the bee if it is his/her house.  Now, the original bee that stung us, is dead and gone.  As soon as we hear that buzz sound, we want to escape/avoid the bee.  What is the it see the bee (could be) or is the sound (probably).  Either way, a bee who is flying around to escape us, gets killed because we have already determine that single bee is going to sting us.  Our prior history with bees is so strung, no one bee would not sting us. 
Flash has adverse training for a long time so he has strong urge (paring) bad things with me.  To reverse this,
it will take a long time for him to trust the training I am doing to good things all the time.  The other catch is I cannot use aversive again, or I may lose the momentum i have.  Everything is a balance act and takes time.

When Flash determines the nectar (reinforcer) is no longer strong enough for him to continue stationing, I need
to change my training plan.  I cannot force him to continue; this is about mutual communication.

Video #3:  

Know when to back up and observe.
January 15, 2016 - Flash's Training - Stationing - Week 3 (Next Day)

I thought you would enjoy seeing the next day progress.   Yes, this is Friday morning training session.
I am hoping my videos are getting a little better.  I am trying to focus on training of Flash (and my other bird) so
sorry if I am walking by the camera.

Video #2:

Side Note: You might ask why is Flash charging the food bowl.  He is not being a jerk, he is not being dominate, and he is not being aggressive.  He is doing a behavior to make me go away.  Again, why? When I adopted Flash 12 years ago, I used coercion, force and took away Flash's choices to teach him step up.  You know what happen after 6 months, fallout. I have an adopted bird who charges me anytime I am close to him.  Over the last 4 years, I have been working on re-bonding with Flash but it takes time. Every Behavior has to be worked on.
The video I am showing are the hard work I put in each day to hopefully change Flash's behavior. I am not forcing Flash to work, he is choosing to work.  
January 14, 2016 - Flash's Training - Stationing - Week 3

Okay, Monday - Friday for about 5 - 10 minutes each morning before I go to work, I do Flash's training.   Saturday and Sunday my husband gets up before me and takes care Flash (I like to sleep).  Before I start Flash's Training, I have to make sure nectar is ready, the yum-yum bowl is ready, the plastic feeding syringe is filled with nectar and I always my training plan prior to entering the room.

The following video is my first showing the progressive of Stationing and not getting bloody stump of a fist when 
putting Flash's yum-yum dish into Flash's cage. 

Video #1:

Note: I am not using any verbals.  The Verbal Cues will come later, right now I am focusing only that
Flash is taking the food from the syringe and staying on the wooden perch.
January 9, 2016 - MSPCA Bird Awareness Month

I am sorry I have not given update on my progress with Flash. It is going fine. I hope to get some Videos up soon. January is MSPCA Bird Awareness Month so I have been busy putting together an Education Series for the month. (  <- Scroll down on page)

Jan 2 - Bird 101 - I spoke on what is a great bird to add to your family. I denoted the importance of care. In addition, my bff (Bird Feathered Friend) did a great demo on bird nutrition and made every in the audience some nice birdy chop. (We had a great turn out)

Jan 9 - Bird Of Pray will be done by Jane Kelly from NH. I am very excited to have hear speaking and bring several different bird of pray. She will be talking about environment and conservation.

I am on a little break to prepare and than...

Jan 23 - I will be speaking on Understanding Behavior - stepping stones to Positive Reinforcement Training (most of it is directed on birds, but I will have photos of the animals as well).

Jan 30 - Workshop time - Enrichment and make easy enrichment toys for your animals. Demo on making Enrichment toys for Small Animals, Dogs, Birds and so on.

Heart of Feathers Education is busy getting education out there.

I am also trying to take care of my wonderful clients. I am around .

Always More to Come.....