Sunday, May 31, 2009

Manzi's big adventure

Manzi had quite the adventure while my sister, Lynette, was here. On Thursday we took him out to do flight training as usual. He missed the long flight and circled around (this is also usual). But while circling, a scrub jay decided to give chase. Off Manzi went and out of sight with a scrub jay close behind. Of course he was completely silent for the first half hour so we had no idea where he was, just a general area. Finally, he began to make noises every 5 minutes which led to his discovery about 30 feet up in a tree. I called him down, but he due to his inability to fly downwards and land, he decided to stay there. Cesar started to climb the tree which led to Manzi flying but passing over my hand going way too fast to land. Then Manzi landed much higher up in a conifer (60 feet up). After calling him for 2 hours and after having two different hawks come within 15 feet of their potential meal (Manzi), we decided to scare him out of the tree with a tennis ball. It worked, but he only flew near my hand again going full speed and completely unable to land. He kept this up for the next 4 trees (flying down, missing my hand and then doing an emergency landing in another tree). The last time, we didn't see where he went and lost him. To be stealthy, Manzi decided not to make a single noise for the next four hours leaving him completely undetected. Finally, we did a final scan of the area as the sun was setting and began to hear him answer my sister's whistle (I was not blessed with the talent of whistling). When we found him he was overjoyed and made all the noises he could remember.
Unfortunately, he was not so overjoyed as to fly down to me from the perch 100 feet high in a eucalyptus tree right next to a hawk's nest. After it was too dark to see him, we called it a night and set our alarm for 5:20am to get back to him before sunrise.
The next morning he was on the exact same branch and quite happy to see us. The local birds were not happy to see him though and he was bothered by scrub jays, crows and even a hummingbird (I didn't know they can fly that high up, nor would I have thought they'd bug an african grey for 5 minutes straight). Quite perterbed, Manzi finally flew down towards me, of course missing me, but landing only 30 feet up in a tree. After another three trees, a crow dove at him and came within a couple of inches. This motivated him to climb down the tree being within ten feet of me and then finally flying the last bit.
He was AWOL for 20 hours total. I wasn't too stressed because I knew he would eventually fly down to me (as long as the raptors didn't get to him first). Once at home, we discovered Manzi lost 10% of his body weight and he drank water for 5 minutes straight. He took quite a few naps that Friday, but by Saterday his weight was back to normal and he resumed his role as "Manzi the Terror."
I am doing indoor recall training for the next few days and then will resume outdoor training. We definitely need to work on how to fly down from trees. We'll start small and build up. Hopefully there won't be many more escape attempts!


Aida said...

AWOL for 20 hours! Thats a long time- its sounds like you handled the situation well. It also doesn't sound like Manzi is too tramitized by the experience.

Sandra said...

Adele you really have faith in Manzi. I would have been a nervous wreck after 10 minutes of him being away from me.

Glad Piccolo does not fly:-)

blogger templates | Make Money Online