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Published on Sep 11, 2009
Kili my Senegal Parrot was originally clipped and I don't think she was given the chance to fledge properly at the breeder. So as she is getting the last few flight feathers back, I have taken it upon myself to teach her how to fly. I don't think she realizes yet that she's a bird and those feathery arms she has can let her fly.
So I am starting out by setting up two perch stands and targeting her from one to the other. First I put the perches so close together that she could walk from one to the other as I would target her back and forth. She picked up almost immediately that I wanted her to go from perch to perch. Then I slowly started increasing the distance. Soon the gap was big enough that at least some flapping would be required to get across but she was reluctant to go. I had to reduce the distance and keep practicing/coaxing her till she finally took the leap of fate.
Then I slowly started to increase the distance between the stands up till about 18 inches apart. Finally as she began getting good at this, I also tried to recall her to my hand by targeting. It took a very long time to coax her to jump to my hand but finally she did which I captured in this video. She had NEVER jumped/flown to me before. She would only step up or reach over with her beak and pull my hand in closer. But today she finally took her first flight to me. This video is all within one training session and illustrates how to teach a reluctant flier to make the first steps toward becoming a flighted and recall trained bird. I will continue posting videos of my progress with training recall flight so check back frequently.
The first step toward teaching recall flight is target training so if you are not familiar please check these videos and blog posts: