From:  shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Mon Apr 12, 2004  11:04 pm
Subject:  Reaffirming the fun and joy of parronthood.

Tinkerbell at JiangHu&LangTan

I come to parrot groups as oasis to escape from
political events in Taiwan or indeed, the world. My
apologies for upsetting the tranquility here last week
with talks of lima and navy beans and their impact on
my life. Sorry too for having to upset you all with
the events of that Rhino Beetle farm. Only damage to
me was to my pride and deep in my soul but that got to
be said on the off chance any of you flying fids on
harnesses might have to bear in mind. I must admit
getting that off my chest and to cry on your
sympathetic shoulders help my own healing.

But to people who just joined, they may be so shocked
that parronts have so much to worry about that they
may end up not being parronts as all. That will be
very sad as parronthood is also full of fun and joy.

This is now spring and the weather is turning warm.
While I have traveled a bit since my return from NZ, I
have not taken out Tinkerbell on the bike to further
away places yet. It was too cold for long distance
travelling on bike. You have not seen recent pictures
of Tinkerbell specially taken for you. So over the
weekend, I thought I would give a brief description
how we go out and check out the countryside and
reaffirm the joys of parronthood.

Folks starting on clicker training may be amused to
know that just 2 years ago, I was like you. I could
not have imagined then how the road would led me to
what it is now. You may have even more fun then me.

This will also be a good time to bring you folks up to
date with other weird but effective ways to keep a CAG
happy on a motorbike.

Please see URL below for the pictures over the last

Tinkerbell at JiangHu&LangTan

Saturday got us waking up, courtesy of our third alarm
clock. Tinkerbell had become more civilized in that
after she woke up, she would first fly to her screen
perch for her morning first discharge before flying
into our bedroom and checking if we are up at 7am. A
simple beak-up-the-nose is her guarantee that her
parronts will get up and off the bed. It's a lot last
traumatic than getting her off our head and over the
floor as quickly as possible before she unload that
big one.

We were ready to go soon and I approached Tinkerbell
with her harness. She knew what that meant, that she
will be going out with us. She stood still and
cooperated with me to allow me to put the harness on
and flew to my shoulder so the line leash can be
attached. If she did not accept the harness, she
would have flown to all high perches leading me on a
merry dance.

You remember that I have a towel on the bike to keep
the bike and bags somewhat clean. I also have
memories of sitting in dining cars of Shinkanshen and
high speed trains in Europe and eating and watching
the countryside roll by. There are two Velcro strips
on the front of the bike so the small towel can be
velcroed on. I induced a small fold in the towel by
safety pins. All so that I can tip some sunflower
seeds on the towel. Tinkerbell loved to ride on the
perch tied between the rearview mirrors. Now while on
that perch, she can get a seed, de-husk it, and munch
away while looking at the countryside passing by. She
get to have a great time while I do all the work.

I now take to wearing a fanny belt pack with
Tinkerbell essentials, pill boxes of sunflower seeds,
tissue paper, clicker and target stick (to get her
back if she ever fly free), extra harness and lines
and sharp folder knife. Karabiners are clipped on
that fanny pack to clip the reel and the rod.
Recently however, I stopped dismantling that reel
setup and you can see the rod/reel hooked on that
karabiner. A simple rubber band is used to hold the
reel and line unless I released it to allow the line
to flow. That setup also served as a impromtu perch
for Tink as can be seen in picture near the end.
Photos are self explanatory.

5 months or so ago, I mentioned on my first trip to
Tsaoling that I saw a place that I wanted to go back
to. That was a road to Tsaoling until an earthquake
brought down the side of the mountain on the road.

We rode over to that place, JiangHu . Scenic places
are common in Taiwan . Still, JiangHu is a
beautiful place to have a picnic and to look at the
huge fossil deposit of sea shells in a matrix of shale
and mudstone.

We got off the bike and walked ten minutes down a
track to the valley floor. Joy then noticed and asked
why is my line dangling behind me. Tink had quietly
managed to free the swivel joint from the harness
clip. Later on, you will see some closeup photos of
those fishing clips and swivel joint. If you are into
fishing, I need not say more as you know how difficult
it is to put those in or to get them out even if you
got two hands. If you do not fish, its no point to
ask friends of yours who fish as they will never
believe a parrot with a beak and a blunt tongue can
get those out. In the recent weeks, she showed me she
could remove a loop from that clip. But as I use two
loops, I did not think further as the odds of her
freeing two loops without my noticing is slim. I also
loop each loop a another turn to increase the work for
her. I did not realized she would up the ante by
removing that swivel joint and line this time.

Tink turned to look at me and bob and bob her head.
From the outings with her, she never showed she wanted
to leave me which in turn gave me the confidence she
will remain with me. I clip the line back on again
and tried to maintain a nonchalant attitude to her so
as not to encourage her to try it again. Even as I
type this to you, I decided I will add yet another two
clips to that swivel joint, another above to the
harness and another linking the fishing line leash to
that swivel joint. Better to play it safe.

In between picnic and eating, Tink hang around us.
She have 3-4 meters of leash line freed for her. If I
want my peace, I will tell her to stay and she would.
If I do not move more than 2 meters away, she normally
will be content to stay around with me to preen
herself and to fly to my shoulder now and then.

If I walk away from her to explore a bit, she will fly
to my shoulder and join me to check out the area.

Now and then, I put her through her recalls.

For the photos, I recalled her from about 7-9 meters
away. Further than that, she will only be a grey
speck in the photos.

The next day on Sunday, we were over at a favourite
spot about 20 minutes ride from my apartment. It is
LangTan, a reservoir just on the outskirt of Chiayi.

Again, you see Tink quite happy to preen herself
content to be near me. I read a bit, take her through
her paces, relax again, read more and just enjoy time
together with her.

Tink had about 3-4 meters of free line but she hardly
ever make use of that. Stay cues again would be
heeded by her provided I do not move more than a
couple meters away. If I move further away and if I
keep my eyes on her, she would stay still but
trembling with effort waiting for my cue to come to
me. On longer recalls, I needed to keep telling her
to wait or she would take off to me. If I want to do
long recalls , 30-40 meters and beyond, Joy need to be
by her side bribing her with sunflower seeds to allow
me to get that far away.

You see her flying on recalls to me. And I have no
problems in entanglements or snagging the line on a

Crowds come and go. I feel it my role to explain to
all who ask just how to keep a parrot. After two
hundred or so answering "Does she talk?", I try my
best to remember the one asking me is asking for the
first time and one day, he remember Tinkerbell and me
when he buys or his friend buys a parrot. And that
they need more than water and sunflower seeds. And
what wonderful companions they can be giving us more
than what we give them.

Last few pictures were taken just an hour ago when we
had our dinner. Tinkerbell get to take a couple of
bites of my sashimi.

I get to eat her leftovers.

Tinkerbell at JiangHu&LangTan