Sunday, July 26, 2009

Out of sight

Today, Manzi did a few flights outside, but landed out of view. I stayed where I was chatting with a neighbor for about 30 minutes and Manzi didn't return. I could hear him so I knew he wasn't really far away (he was about 150 yards away). I wanted Manzi to return all on his own. I finally went looking for him and Manzi flew down to me from the top of a big oak tree. He flew at an angle steeper than 45 degrees and was able to dodge the branches along the way. I was very impressed with the flight. Then I sent him out on a few more flights to practice recall. He flew back and forth between a tree and me, but one of the flights he dodged the tree and did a big loop returning to me. It is nice to see Manzi having fun flying and it seems that every day he is learning a new maneuver. He did his recalls excellent and didn't miss or hesitate on a single one. I'm not sure if I should have gone looking for Manzi, or have given him more time to find me. I am worried that he'll assume that I will go and get him every time he flies off and he won't learn that he has to come back to me on his own. This time he was in an unfamiliar direction. Tomorrow I probably won't have time to take him outside and we are going to L.A. for this coming week. I probably won't let Manzi fly around there because he'll be in unfamiliar territory.

More flying

Yesterday I took Manzi out again at 5pm. It was warm, but I didn't think it was too hot. Despite that, Manzi did a few flights and then hung out with me with his mouth open and panting. I stayed reading in the park for quite a while. By the time 6:30 came around it had cooled off so Manzi began to fly around. He did longer flights and was out of view for 10 seconds at a time, but he always circled back around. Some neighbors were watching. They were impressed because they remember that just a while back Manzi spent the night in a tree and I had used up my voice trying to get him down. Those days are in the past. I am going to stick with this for a while, letting him fly around while I read. We are still working on a good recall outdoors. Manzi is good if he is on a clear branch with easy access to me. Once his recall improves and he builds up more muscle I will take him to other areas to continue working on his flight skills. He only is in flight for at most 20-30 seconds at a time. He is not as out-of-breath as he used to be, but he still has a ways to go before he is flying around for 10-20 minutes at a time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Aerial Acrobatics

Today Manzi did some acrobatics. He did very fast flying with quick banks then would drop down to me. He is getting better and better at flying maneuvers every day. He also went back up to the roof of a building today and pulled stuff out of the gutter. He didn't listen to my recall at first, but after 30 minutes he listened to my recalls. I think he realized that I would keep letting him play in the trees after he came to me so he kept coming back to get treats and then continue playing. Today was great progress.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pink feather

Manzi grew in a pink/white feather with his last molt. It is kinda hard to see (let alone take a picture of) so I am trying to move his other feathers out of the way with one hand while I'm taking his picture with the other hand.

An update on flight training: I have been taking Manzi out while I read in the evenings. Yesterday, he decided to walk around on the roof of the apartment. He was also able to fly from the roof almost straight down to the ground to go after some abandoned kid's toys. He also did a very fast flight dodging trees. He went out of sight a couple of times and then landed in a tree out of sight. I decided to wait a couple of minutes rather than chase after him and sure enough within just one minute he flew back to the tree right above where I read.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Continued Success

I have been taking Manzi out the past couple of days for flight training. Yesterday, he flew into a tree so I sat nearby reading a book. He came to me and back to the tree a few times, but not right when I called. He didn't panic though and he enjoyed flying around in the trees.

Today was much better. He flew to me almost immediately from the trees, although I didn't give him the cue. I sent him back to the tree and then I gave him the cue and he came back to me. He did about five flights when I gave him the cue. Finally, on the last one he landed on a branch that broke. He did a few big circles and landed 50 feet up a tree. It took him about 15 minutes before he flew down, but he did fly down without much problem. Manzi is getting more and more confident outside.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pots and Pans

Manzi has been getting into trouble these past two days. He keeps on going to the kitchen, opening the cupboard by the sink and pulling out the pots and pans. The cupboard is just a few inches from the floor. Manzi easily pries open the door, and then not so easily pushes the heavier pans out to watch them fall the few inches to the floor. Then he goes back in for the next pan. He can even push my large glass cake pan out of the cupboard. I feel like I have a two year old. I need to get some child locks on the cupboard. I get sick of putting pots and pans back all day long.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Out for a walk

Today, I began my road to knee recovery. I want to be able to run again after hurting my knee in February. I am starting by walking every day. I took Manzi with me. It was getting quite warm. We went two miles. About 3/4 through the walk Manzi was so hot that he was panting. Even so, he still kept trying to fly to trees nearby because he wanted to play. I need to make my walks earlier before it gets too hot.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Flying around today

Today, I took Manzi out for some flight training. He hasn't been allowed to play in the trees for a few days so instead of flying to me, he went straight for the nearest tree. After two hours he tried to fly to me and missed. It was right outside my apartment, so I just went out to check on him every 20-30 minutes. The rest of the time I left my window open so I could hear him while I was working. After a while he flew down to me to get some treats. He was happy to do a few extra recalls from his favorite tree too. Now he is happily eating inside. I'm not sure if this is a good approach or if I should find a big field without trees to let him practice flying. Today I talked with Chris Biros, the free flight expert, and he gave me some very good ideas. Well, hopefully Manzi won't be such a terror the rest of the night. He has been pretty bad these past few days, probably because he is in a bad mood since he's not been allowed to play in his tree.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Another overnight scare

Manzi spent the night in the trees again on July 3rd. He was outside playing in his tree when a branch broke. He flew in a circle right when a juvenile hawk was flying over him and decided to check him out. Manzi took off. That day Manzi tried about 12 times to fly back to me, but due to his poor flight skills he kept missing. It wasn't until the next morning that after trying another 5 times he finally made the landing on my arm.

After talking to quite a bit of people, it seems that Manzi needs to improve his flight skills. He wanted to come back to me, he just didn't know how. So, yesterday we did short outdoor flights (10 feet). I am going to stick with this distance for a while and slowly build up instead of pushing him so fast like last time. This morning we did indoor recall and he did excellent. Hopefully, we can keep this up!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pig Ear

I was at the feed store the other day and saw pig ears. I bought one for Manzi. The first day he didn't know what to do with it. By the 2nd day he was chewing on it and has been ever since. He is certainly no dog so it is going to take him a while to get through the whole thing (hopefully before it starts drawing bugs). He was a bit perturbed by me taking pictures while he was enjoying his pig ear. Manzi is just too cute.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beginning to fly again

Manzi is not doing indoor flight recall very well. One problem is that he still doesn't accept treats while inside. He will sometimes fly to me, but only because he wants to see what I am doing. When I offer him a treat he throws it aside.

When I took Manzi outside, he played in his tree like normal. But, instead of asking him to just climb back down to get treats, I made him do a little hop to me. At first, he was very hesitant, but by the end he did a few hops to me from the tree and then back again. I am going to keep working at this. I also put him on the ground a couple of times and asked him to fly to me. He was very driven for his treats while outside. He wasn't at first, but now he sees that he can keep playing on the tree so he is very happy to come down, grab a treat and then keep playing.

I don't know why he is willing to take the treats outside, but not inside.

blogger templates | Make Money Online