|Thursday, August 18th, 2005
First introductory letter on Tinkerbell
I am trying to pinpoint when Tink first fledged with me and I came
across these letters even earlier and by right should have formed
the basis of the introduction of Tinkerbell.
This include some of the very earliest photos of Tinkerbell in
|Very young Tinkerbell|
|I do not think I could have done this without that recent visit
to Tinkerbell in June/July 2005. That trip healed me to a large extent.
My hard disk from that time died a horrible death and with
a most mournful cry sometime in December 2002. The death of that hard disk
was bizarre. One day, I relate the entire story. You may even say that was
a fantastic series of coincidence. But that touched on events even
more strange than what I related about Ivan my cat. And I have had enough
of brickbats thrown at me for that issue. For those curious about Ivan, read
Not only Tink photos and letters I wrote from that time, but the
digital photos of my travelling along path less trodded. I stepped
off the pages of Lonely Planet to walk on some of those
paths in the wild reaches of Yunnan, EmeiShan, WudangShan mountains
and Tibet in search of martial artists and their traces of historical
and almost mythical martial artists and sunrises and sunsets.
The email exchanges on martial arts, stuff and other old
memories of those travels were lost in that flash when the HD died.
(I still lugged about with me that died hard disk. Maybe one day it will
be resurrected again giving me back a period of my past otherwise
lobotomised from me.)
I did find some photo folders that did escaped as they were
on another hard disk, but the vast bulk of the early days in
Taipei are residing in that hard disk that died.
I did not write much at that time on Tinkerbell unlike the
last few years. The price I paid now for that ommission is
that those moments are now cloaked in a haze of half memories.
Those that I wrote about will remain forever fresh in my mind,
in retrospect, well worth the time I spend in writing them down.
Now they are on the web, immuned to hard disk crashing in my PC.
This seemed to be that first letter written to a list here and detailed
out some the earlier life of Tink.
So at least by Jul 26 2002 , Tinkerbell was already flying about and
had been doing that for 7 weeks and already with us for 2 months.
That meant I got Tink perhaps in mid May 2002 and she fledged just a
week after she joined me and my wife.
You can guage how the rate her early flying prowess increased from those
early letters. Those letters can be found in the archives of Free Flight.
Letter into FreeFlight
From: shan lung <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri Jul 26, 2002 12:26 pm
Subject: Tinklebell in Taipei
Hi folks, I am happy to be here via a redirection from
.... when I popped into there to ask innocently about
how to take care of my free flying Tinklebell.
I will attached my earlier letters by means of intro.
I am the co-companion of Tinklebell (our very first
parrot) and ferret and kitty with half tail living
with us in Taipei, Taiwan.
We nearly clipped our parrot feathers on advise from a
couple of parrot books when we read in a parrot mag
which fervently request no clipping of feathers.
After painfully watching her flying into walls, and
screen doors for a couple of days, we are very happy
now to have her flying about the apartment to our
shoulders and hoovering about with excellent flight
Are there many CAG/TAG owners here with unclipped
Have any of such owners taken the bird on outings with
confidence that the bird will return? If so, how is
that training done?
Sorry to hear of your back. I hope you are better
I do know that painful feeling that your bird is gone.
Once I came to the living room to find Tinklebell
gone and a side door opened.
It was a horrid sinking feeling before I found
Tinklebell flew to another room and happily chewing
the spines off my books.
Still, I find the people in Taiwan love their pets,
and if that day comes that Tinklebell flies off, I
take comfort that she is likely to be loved and well
looked after here.
When I get home, she flies to my shoulder and gently
nibble at my ear. She flies to my hand from the stand
at my command, sometimes making a mock dive at me
before circling around and landing. If we leave her
alone too long, she will fly to our bedroom
complaining away perching high up on the shelf.
Bear in mind we have a ferret and a kitty as well.
I do not think I will ever clip her wings now.
I recalled going to bird shows at zoological gardens
to see parrots and macaws and hornbills being released
to fly around big open auditorium to land on their
When I was in Changmei, Thailand a year ago, I had
this memorable sight of an expat resident walking down
the road with his cockatoo perched on his shoulder
free flying and landing back on him again and again.
People with raptors do take their birds out to hunt
and they do return.
I do have the thought of eventually taking Tinklebell
outside and do seek the advice of all interested
parties here as to the steps to take.
You are right.
The books I read (and that was a month before I bought
Tinklebell) advising to clip the wings were written by
The magazine I read was printed in UK which fervently
asked us not to clip the wings.
As mentioned in the earlier letter, I had a
'near-death' experience when I thought my lovely
Tinklebell was gone.
My instinct was to reach for the scissors there and
then to stop such shock ever happening to me again.
I am glad I hold my hand, even in times when she
choses to irritate us in ways only free flying parrots
are capable of.
She gets out of her cage for about 45 mins in the
morning before I go to work. Doors and screendoors
are kept closed and double checks made before she is
My wife will give her about 2 hours later in the day
before she does something naughty to be back into the
She is forgiven generally before I get back home, and
if that is so, will fly to greet me and complain to me
of my 'un-understanding' wife.
She will remain out until we go out whereby she gets
back into the cage until our return.
She gets back into the cage by 12 midnight.
Thanks for the lead that you gave me. I just signed
up with them for their mailing list.
I will remain here and let you guys know of this path
that I will be walking on.
From: shan lung <email@example.com>
Date: Fri Jul 26, 2002 4:06 pm
Subject: Re: [Freeflight] Tinklebell in Taipei part 2
I do hope you guys here do not object terribly to my
reposting of my earlier letters I wrote to
My earlier letters seem to be out of place elsewhere and
better suited to here. With the conclusion in this
letter, Freeflight will be up-to-date with all that I
Subject: Re: free flight - last words on this
I like to thank all the replies on this issue.
The URLs that have kindly pointed out to me have been
I will not quarrel even with some of the more extreme
opinions as I do realised their concerns stemmed from
their real fear that Tinkerbell/Tinklebell may fly off
never to return to me.
We love her as much as you love any of your parrots.
Knowledgable members have informed us that Tinklebell
is 6-7 months old, still having black tipped tail and
black iris turning to grey about 2-3 weeks ago.
We took her home 2 months ago. Our apartment is
screened up very adequately against the mosquitoes.
Initially, it was unbearable to watch her clumsy
crashing into walls before she gained the skills and
control after 4-5 days or so. Her wings were nearly
clipped at that stage out of fear for her safety.
Good confident flying is not easy and it is
understandable how frightening it must be for the bird
She is free flying around the apartment for about 7
weeks now. Her control is so good that she can hoover
like a humming bird pretending to land on the head
before changing to the hand.
In addition to 'step up' , 'fly up' 'fly to stand'
'fly to cage' are amonge the requests that she respond
to, though not all the time. We weighed her 3 days
ago to be 375 gms.
Eventually, I will take her out, but not before I find
out all the details or about two months time.
I will not be writing about that here though as I do
not wish to cause pain to some of the members.
Subject: Re: Waiting long time for our boys
I have always being fascinated by parrots.
This became more intense after I watched on National
Geographic a documentary on Alex about a couple of
years back. To know that parrots are sentient kind of
blew my mind.
It became close to a fever when I accompanied a friend
who also yearned for a parrot and the little grey
there made overtures at me. I knew I was going to
leave the country to work in Taiwan and that was the
main reason I did not buy that grey there and then.
|(Tinkerbell when she was very young and before she became Tinkerbell the flying Grey of Taiwan
This guy provided the two triggers to entwine my life with Tinklebell. The first was 40 years ago when I taught his dad grey a colorful phrase that we then fed with black label to get the grey drunk to forget those words said in my voice too. The 2nd trigger was when he took me to a parrot shop just before I came to Taiwan.
No , he do not have any parrot or bird. You can see him lurking in the shadow behind Joy and the M2 in the folder
He visited me in Taipei with his wife shortly after Tinkerbell came to me.)
AFter I kind of settle down here, I got serious enough
to buy a parrot behaviour book (which almost
religiously advocate clipping of feathers) and read
through that while making sorties into bird shops
looking at greys and greens.
A month after that on one of our forays, Tinklebell
caught our eyes and it was love at first sight.
We waited long and we waited hard for our girl.
We like the best life for her and are prepared to walk
that extra mile for her happiness and comfort. When I
now see her flying about the apartment so happily and
so full of energy, I find it difficult to visualised
her in any other way.
I know you love your bird.
Be assured we treasure Tinklebell very very much too.
|From: shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date: Fri Nov 15, 2002 3:52 pm
Subject: Tinkerbell ! Come Here ! Touch Target
For a bit of my reintroduction and background , I am
working and living in Taipei Taiwan with my wife Joy.
I first had Zorro my ferret after falling in love with
him as a kit on sale in an open air night market at
Lor Her Jia. (Since then, I moved to Chiayi, Southern Taiwan)
A couple months later, I saw Tinkerbell, my CAG and
she joined us. A month or so later in late July this
year when I was in Ray Fang town having sushi with my
wife, we saw a tiny kitten and made the mistake of
remarking how pretty she was to the proprietor who
promptly dropped his knife to catch the kitty for us
and refused to accept our refusal. She is called
Halftail as she came to us with only half her tail.
Sometime in early July, I found myself in Free flight
after being directed there from a parrot mailing list.
I was very new and Tink is my first parrot. The
literature is great in Free flight with only the
members even better.
I was then strongly recommended by them to go into
A few months later, I can urge the newcomers here to
do the same as that is another fantastic group to be
in. With hindsight, and if we do intend to free fly
our charge and increase the odds of them returning to
us, we must have a very strong rapport with our bird.
Click training is such an important step to forging
that important bond..
I have taking several pictures of Tinkerbell in full
flight responding to my recalls that I have uploaded
I invite anyone interested to view them. Take a look
at how beautiful our bird look like in full flight.
I have included several shots of Tinkerbell with
Halftail and Zorro.
The explanatory letter below was send to Birdclick and
relevant to all that you will see. The only
difference is that I managed to get my Webshots
account paid up and finished uploading my shots to
webshots that I did not when I first wrote to
Bird-click a few days ago.
I hope you enjoy those pictures.
(note c/t means 'click and treat')
(email to Bird-Click
I was buried to beyond my eyeballs in work and I had
to duck out to become a lurker.
For the newcomers here, oldtimers in bird-click and
especially Melinda have been so instrumental in what
you are about to see.
I have uploaded some pictures that you can find in the
folder 'Tinkerbell ! Come here ! Touch Target'
When I first got here, I wasn't that sure if c/t can
work after a disasterous first attempt on Zorro my
little ferret before I got my Tinkerbell.
Not withstanding my cynicism, the others took me
warmly by the hand (electronically) and cajoled me
into re attempting what I thought was a rigmarole. My
earlier letters can be seen as to my transformation to
a true believer.
I thought I was caring and observant on things around
me and nuances of my pets. Perhaps I was. That's
still nothing as compared to what I perceived from my
Tink even at the first stage of click and treat. The
act of training is less a training and more an opening
of a portal into a transcedental relationship with my
Tinkerbell. We became so much closer to each other.
The old timers here knew that Tink did not have her
wings clipped. I love the way she flies around the
house and I just felt that it is better for her that
A few nights ago, I took some pictures of her. Now
that I know the intrinsic beauty of her wings, I am so
glad that I did not succumb to the urgings of others
to clip her wings. That will be best for you all to
go and see for yourself.
A few days ago, Melinda asked what we most happy about
the training and the training of recall.
I can say what I am most happy about the training is
an unexpected side benefit.
Tink does and can fly (after a heartwrenching week of
seeing her crash into walls and doors and me running
around with a cushion trying to protect her from hard
drops). She also poop about making my messy apartment
I did not even think of trying to c/t her to poop
nicely where she should poop. But after the c/t, she
became more aware of my likes/dislikes and she tries
to please me. Now, she can be playing with me or
wandering around on the sofa. She will then suddenly
fly off to the basket or stand, poop over there , and
fly back to me or to do her own things basically
resuming where she left off. My apologies for not
able to provide photographic evidence as yet.
My earlier main aim of coming here is based on that I
want to fly Tink outside as well. I needed to be sure
she returns to me and not continue to wing her way to
In the training of a flighted bird, one must be even
more patient as she has the option of doing other
things if you bore her too much or she does not feel
It became a partnership between us. I have to pay
attention if she enjoys it and stop if she is not too
Taking pictures of pets is difficult enough. But to
take pictures of a flying parrot, well, just multiply
your earlier difficulties many times.
So many of my pictures took empty air and out of
focused blurness to get those shots I uploaded here.
Tinkerbell sensed that I wanted something. She so
patiently flew back to that basket on the TV and
waited for my cue to fly back to me to get that
upsetting flash into her eyes. Normal training never
got beyond 5-6 times. She did it for me without a
sqwark and without protests about 20 times.
I felt so humbled by her understanding.
I originally wanted to upload the pictures into
Webshots and I still will do that. The small size of
the jpgs here will not do justice to the beauty of her
outspread wings and the control of her wings in
braking and manouvering. One shot I especially like
is where her wings are spread out and you can see the
delicate and semitransperency of her feathers and can
make out the TV screen through the wings.
In one shot, you can see the state of the floor.
Please excuse the sunflower seed shells scattered all
over the floor. I am sure you all will understand.
For the strong at heart, take a look to the end
. Tinkerbell is there with Halftail (my
rescued kitty with half a tail) and Zorro my ferret.
With warmest regards