Thursday, December 31, 2009

Barking Mad

I am at my sister's house again. She has a shih-tzu/poodle cross. This morning, while I was still in bed, I could hear the dog barking at Manzi. After a while, my sister got upset with her dog and brought him downstairs. Soon enough, the barking upstairs continued. At first I thought her dog, Peanut, had gone back upstairs, but then I heard him howling downstairs while the barking was going on upstairs. It seems that Manzi now has perfect mastery over barking like a little dog. Manzi has been barking all day long. I hope he forgets how to do it soon enough after we get back. There are worse noises, but I can see his barking getting annoying. I have heard of many other parrot-hound households telling stories of their African Greys barking, but since I don't have a dog I never thought I'd have a barking parrot.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We are on vacation. Manzi usually hates his travel cage. On the first leg of our journey (a three-hour drive) Manzi began to bend the bars of his travel cage. I moved a toy in front of them to divert his attention. I am going to have to get a new travel cage in the future as he has damaged his current one quite badly. Anyway, after arrival at my sister's house, Manzi immediately began imitating the sound of their house alarm beeps. It beeps every time a door opens. It was funny because my nephew, Benjamin, keep asking, "Who's here?" as he heard the door "open." My sister kept having to answer that it was just Manzi again. There was a party on the day we arrived. Manzi was so loud, but the party was louder so it wasn't a problem. There were many inquiries about him and he seemed to be a pretty big hit.

I stayed with my sister a couple days. By the time we left he was saying her name.

Now we are in L.A. Manzi did much better on the last 3.5-hour drive and just sat contentedly. I let him out of his travel cage for much of the day as he always wants to be right with me. He is being a good sport and letting others hold him. He even laid on his back in my brother's hands!

I would like to devise a better travel system for Manzi in the car. He doesn't like being in his travel cage. I think a perch of some sort would be better. One that buckles into the seat belt and then just stick newspapers underneath him. It might take some getting used to, in order for him to learn not to leave the perch. Any volunteers to build me that perch?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Plan and Manzi's Prank

On Tuesday Manzi and I got another roommate. It is a very nice lady who will be staying with us for a month. She likes animals and Manzi hasn't shown any aggression towards her. Instead he is intensely curious and would love to go watch her and say hi. Anyway, she told me that she'll knock during the day because she doesn't want to barge in and startle me or Manzi. Yesterday, I was taking a nap when I heard someone knock on the door. It woke me up but I figured that it was the lady and she'll come in if I don't answer. After a couple minutes, the knocking continued and I was wondering why she didn't just come in. I scrambled to get up and go answer the door. No one was there. Then Manzi began his laughing and did the "knocking" noise once more. That is the first time I have been tricked by him making a knocking noise.

With regards to flying, I have come up with a new plan. I need to go to the desert and work with Manzi there, where there is less problems with raptors and with terrain. I'm really not sure where the closest desert is from here, but the valley is pretty desertic so maybe somewhere around there would be great. I heard that even though Manzi can always find me in the park, it is because he learned to follow my voice and not to navigate the terrain. That is why he quickly got lost in the new park. There were many people there so my voice got drowned out. In a flat terrain, he will be able to fly around, and then I can find places with added difficulties and slowly build from there.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No Fear

Finally, Manzi has lost all fear of the stand. Today he has flown to it several times of his own accord. Later today I will do recall training to reinforce flying between me and stand. I have been using the word "cage" to signal Manzi to fly to his cage. Now I will use "stand" and he'll figure it out soon enough.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Perch Success

Today Manzi actually flew to the perch. I was only three feet away, but that is huge progress. When I had him fly to the perch from further than three feet he instead went to his cage. So, I sent him from three feet and he continued to make the landings. I will slowly increase that distance.

I am not sure if I posted the exact process used to get here. First, I let Manzi get used to the perch being in the room. After a while, I held his feet and brought him up to it. He knew I was holding his feet so he wouldn't try and fly away. Then, I released one foot and had him put it on the perch. As soon as it touched the perch, I clicked (with the clicker) and rewarded him. Once he heard the click, he would take his foot off the perch and turn to me for the reward. I kept doing this and within a few days required both feet to be on the perch for the reward.

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