Tinkerbell shanlung's Tinkerbell photoset
From: shan lung <shanlung9@y

From:  shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Mon Nov 3, 2003  11:50 pm
Subject:  Hoping to cue for 'flyabout'


Flyabout is a term we use for flighted parrots when
they just want to fly from exuberance or perhaps to
check out the area that they are allowed to fly.
Often, this flyabout is accompanied with calls of
happiness from them

This is very different from a spook flight when they
take off in a panic mode and always silently with very
strong wing beats going straight up or in a line away
from you.

When Tinkerbell was flown in big enclosed area (huge
office under renovation), after doing her recall cues,
she initiated flights taking off from my shoulder to
sweep around the room and re landing back on me.

On a few occasions under harness flight, she also did
the flyabouts. You have seen I just use a reel.
Unfortunately, the reel cannot be unreeled fast
enough. So when she reached the end of line(with half
a reel left!), she turned with the line and continue
on a circular flight calling her 'argh argh argh' of

In the last few days, I jerry rigged a holder for the
reel by cutting off the bamboo handle of a sacrificed
broom to allow fast deploying of the line should the
occasion arises where Tinkerbell can safely go on her
flyabout (eg, big meadows) with minimum risk of line
getting tangled or snagged. That holder is basically
like a sawn off fishing rod with the reel and a guide
ring for the line. This works fine the past 3-4 days
in flying tests in the nearby school.

I bought another 100m of 0.7 mm braided fishing line
and 70kg breaking strength but black in color this
time for use in her future 'flyabouts' and yet another
reel to hold that new line. The old line has been
cannibalised by me time and time again to fix up 'self
closing screen doors', additional restraints on
motorbikes, baskets, etc etc.

Even at home, from time to time, Tinkerbell goes into
her flyabout routines. She will take off to fly
around the room, crying away, to land back where she
started off from.

I decided to try to capture that into what I hope a
cue-able action.

I dug out my old trusty clicker. I cannot click every
time she takes off as she may just be flying across
the room to yet another perch or to harass Bim or Zor.

Clicker training will normally break the action into
smaller components that we try to cue them into. But
in the case of flyabout, it seem difficult to try to
break it into components as in this case, the whole is
more then the sum of the parts.

I do not want to click when she just want to takeoff
to come to me or to another perch across the room.

But when she does her flyabout, I try to click
whenever she complete it to my accompanying shout of
'fly fly fly' and praises of 'good girl, good girl'
and sunflower seed treats from me. 'Good girl, good
girl' is understood by her as praise when she does her
normal recall to me which will then be followed by

There have been times I hold the clicker in readiness
and she did nothing or she just fly from point A to
point B.

Then there have been times with no clicker in hand
that she did her flyabout. I will then try to name it
for her by crying ' fly fly fly' and 'good girl, good
girl' and going to her to give her treats.

With this intention of trying to capture that action,
I took to observing her closely. A flyabout is
normally initiated with intent stare from her and with
flicker of her head to sweep around room before
resuming her stare and starting on her flyabout. A
direct flight normally does not have flicker of her

'fly fly fly' will be my cue to her at later stage to
get her into flyabout, when I can run after her while
letting her pull and deploy that line. Where
hopefully, she can fly in all exuberance and I not
have the risk of her spooking to the next town.

It may be my wishful thinking. But Tinkerbell seems
to gather that I want her to circle the room. When
she does a 3/4 circuit of the room, she gets no 'fly
fly fly' from me. She gets no 'good girl good girl'
and no treats.

From a sporadic once every 3-4 days of a good flyabout
in the apartment, she now does that about 2-3 times a
day, and always to my shouting of 'fly fly fly' and
'good girl good girl' and her treats.

She tries to confuse me too. She will do a 3/4
circuit and double back 3/4 to her starting point.
She does a half room and double back making myself
wonder should I click and treat her for that.

One day will come when I feel she is ready enough to
try to initiate her to a flyabout in the apartment.

Then I will take her to another rice field (far far
away from any airport/airbase) or one of those vast
river flood plains to see if I can get her to 'fly fly
fly' with a 100m line available to see what she will

I appreciate any of your thoughts on this new approach
that I am trying.

With warmest regards

Joy - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG & surrogate daughter

earlier emails and photo links on Tink -