Sunday, November 29, 2009


Yesterday I did recall training with Manzi using the perch. I would put him on his cage, call him to me, reward him and then set him on the perch to eat his reward. It worked very well. He was comfortable enough to stand on one foot while using the other to eat his treat. After doing this a few times, I had him fly to his perch (he was about 6 inches so it was more of a jump). He landed on it, but then immediately chickened out and took off. So, I went back to having him step up to the perch. Today, I did the same thing, and after he went on the perch, he walked around a bit on it biting at different parts. That is a huge improvement. Before he would not move if he was on the perch. Hopefully he will begin flying from me to the perch in no time. Maybe my week estimation was not too bad after all.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Broken Glass

Last night Manzi added another broken glass to the list. I think it is his fourth. I had just gotten home from Thanksgiving holiday. Manzi was doing laps around the apartment because he had so much energy built up. I accidentally left a glass on the counter. It wasn't near the edge, but that set is so fragile and all he did was tip it over and it shattered.

I am going to work more with the perch this coming week. Manzi is still afraid of it, but he will stand on it if I give him a treat. Hopefully, by the end of this week he'll be do A-B flights between me and the perch. Realistically, he'll be standing on it longer than a couple of seconds!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Medicine and the retrieve

I don't know what it is about medicine bottles, but Manzi's got a thing for them. I had a root canal and am on antibiotics. Manzi keeps taking the medicine bottle in his foot and holding it above his head for it to scratch him. He waits a few seconds and when it doesn't respond, he re-examines it and then tries again.

Training the retrieve has come to a halt. Manzi figured out that he needs to put the penny in the metal dish to get his reward. He even figured out how to reach/move towards the dish when it wasn't directly below him. The problem is that he isn't really taking steps towards the dish. Maybe one step, but otherwise he just chucks the penny in the direction of the dish. When it is about 5 inches away he has great accuracy, but any further and he misses all the time. As soon as I give him the penny he immediately chucks it towards the dish. I'm going to keep trying at a distance that I know he will make it in the dish and then go away very slowly.

Flight training update:
Yesterday I was thinking that maybe it is getting safe, but then I saw a juvenily hawk chase after a bird (unsuccessfully) within few hundred yards from where I used to fly Manzi. I also saw another hawk catch some kind of rodent, but that was more than a mile from home.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Huge Field a no go

Today I went to a huge field where there weren't any trees for 1+ miles. The only problem was the road along the field had telephone poles and on every other pole was a raptor. A few were flying around too. It was mid-day and maybe the raptors were snoozing, but I didn't feel like taking any chances. Maybe I need to drive out to the desert. I don't think there's much out there. Anyone know of one nearby?

The retrieve

It was too windy to fly Manzi yesterday, but I have been working on teaching him to retrieve. This is commonly done by having them drop an object into a metal dish so it makes an audible noise. Then, they will figure out that they have to drop it in the dish to get the treat and you can start moving the dish further away from them so they have to walk/fly with the object.

Today Manzi figured out that he needs to drop the penny in the dish to get the treat. I was really excited. I began to put the dish further away so Manzi had to walk to drop it in and he got it, especially since this was only the third training session. I will work with him later today again.

It is not windy so I might fly him too. There is a place that is 1 mile from any trees or roads so I am going to try that. It will require walking though.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Juvenile Hawk

It was either a red shoulder or red tail juvenile that went after Manzi today. It was 3-4 times his size and got within an arm's distance of him. Manzi was very scared and wouldn't come down to me right away. After a while he was fine though.

I heard that in the fall, the juvenile raptors are weaned and get desperate for prey. On the other hand, all of the spring babies of other birds are more agile and already figured out how to avoid the raptors. It is a pretty bad season for Manzi. There are many desperate birds looking for a meal and Manzi might be their ticket.

Maybe I will ground him for a few weeks. That might just make him a weak flier and an easy target when he is back flying. I'm not sure what to do. There is no way I can find an area without raptors. They're all over the place here. Maybe a large gym or auditorium?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This past weekend I put the superhero costume on Manzi. I need to make some adjustments to the fit, but Manzi did okay with it. He wasn't happy, but he took treats from me. If he really hates something he won't even eat his favorite treats. Next time Aimee and Glen come up for the weekend we are going to make a super hero video of Manzi.

Today I am going to take Manzi out flying again. I ran out of grapes so we'll see how it goes with walnuts and almonds.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Manzi's outdoor flights

We made huge progress over the weekend. My friends from college came and stayed with me and the husband has a lot of experience directing videos. He brought his camera and took some shots of Manzi flying around. I did the editing (so as not to insult Glen). Manzi did wonderful. He didn't get into any trouble and was very good on his recalls. The movie is a bit long as it is broken into sections, but sit back and enjoy.

Please rate the video if you can. I need to get high ratings if he is to ever be famous.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Peregrine Falcon!!

Manzi was out flying today when he had a big scare. A peregrine falcon came after him. This isn't a picture of the actual falcon (note the jesses), just one that looked the same. My neighbor was out and saw it from a different angle, so here is the story pieced together. The falcon came and landed in a tree nearby. Manzi was flying right past the tree when the falcon took off after him. Manzi did a large circle and then a very tight circle and dive (he added a deep scream to the dive). The falcon grabbed one of his wings, but just got the feathers. Manzi then did an emergency landing into a tree and the falcon landed in a nearby tree. I was very surprised because I didn't even see the falcon to begin with. I went and called Manzi down and he came but was definitely a bit shook up. Since the falcon didn't leave the area I took Manzi inside and now he is happily eating, but still full of energy.

The peregrine falcon was about double the size of Manzi and had a much larger wingspan. I got quite scared. I thought that falcons will go after Manzi by diving, not by ambushing him from a tree and chasing him.

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