Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sickness Delay

I got back from L.A. on Monday night. Manzi greeted me with regurgitated food. (He really knows how to woo a woman) Anyway, I am still sick (going on three weeks) but will hopefully be better soon. I took Manzi on a walk outside today, but didn't venture too far. I will wait to fly him in the gym until my health is improved. Today I did do indoor recalls with Manzi. This time, the first flight from me, Manzi at first headed to his cage, but changed course mid flight and landed on his perch. This was from all the way across the room. All subsequent flights were between me and the perch. I am very happy about how fast Manzi is catching on.

While outside, Manzi is so eager to fly. He holds his wings out nearly the whole time ready to take off. I did let him climb on some branches of a tree. Once I put him on he was very happy and didn't want to come off. Today Manzi has been a sweetheart. It is nice that when I am sick or down for any reason, Manzi can sense that and is much more affectionate and cuddly.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recalls using Perch

Today we did recall training again. Last time Manzi returned to the perch from four feet away. Today Manzi returned from ten feet away. Another thing I am doing is not holding out my arm when I call him. I heard that if you hold out your arm, they might be paying attention to that cue and not the voice command. Then, if they are high up in a tree and can't see your arm, they might not recall. Anyway, when I don't hold up my arm Manzi showed some hesitation at first, but now he sees that I put my hand up as soon as he gets close to me. He did fly back to his cage twice instead of the perch, but I immediately picked up up from his cage and he then flew to his perch. He is realizing that when he flies to his perch, he gets to eat the treat. Also, Manzi's motivation is very high. He is not doing any refusals and he is coming immediately when I call him. I am excited about doing outdoor flying again.

Next week we're going to fly in a gym (we found one) so that should be fun. I am leaving town for the weekend, but I will post updates again next week on the progress.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Big Show Off

Today a good friend of mine, Ixchelle, came over with her four children to eat lunch and see Manzi. I warned them that Manzi might not talk for them, but in less than 10 seconds he began chatting away. He started off with a repeating "hello" a couple of times. Then he went right into laughing, saying "okay" and "I love you." It was really cute. Manzi is often very quiet with strangers, but he just loved the attention from Ixchelle and her children. He also did all of his tricks and even did his tricks on the command of some of the children. Needless to say, he was a big hit.

Update on flight training: I set up the perch and have begun indoor recall. While Manzi is accustomed to coming to me, taking the treat and then returning to his cage to eat it, he is not used to returning to the perch. He flew back to the perch when I was about four feet away, but further than that he would return to his cage to eat the treat. I am going to continue doing the recall and sending him back to the perch at a distance where I know he will make it. I am also using the words "perch" and "cage" for their respective locations.

Cuddles: Today was extraordinary in how cuddly Manzi was. He usually doesn't want scratches midday as he gets bored and would rather get into trouble. Today though, he flew to me as I was working on the computer and he napped on my arm with his beak tucked under his wing. After a while, he decided that my hands (which were busy typing on the computer) would better serve him by scratching his head. Since it was unusual, I indulged in a love fest and spent 45 minutes scratching his head. While scratching his head, he is constantly turning and moving so my fingers get just the right spot, much like a dog or cat. Manzi did get bored eventually and went back to getting into trouble. When he gets cuddly like that he is such a little darling! Completely irresistible!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Manzi attacking blue lid

Here is a new video of Manzi. After making it, I thought it would be funny to post in the following form.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Plagued by a Cat

Unfortunately, others in my apartment complex amuse themselves with feeding the feral cats. Due to this, there has been a large increase in the number of wild kittens running a muck. The kittens from the past litter are nearly full grown. One of them, I'll call him Smokey, is intent on harassing Hercules, my sulcatta tortoise. When it warms, Hercules gets full run of the garden on my patio. I am worried that Smokey might hurt poor Hercules so I chase him away any time I see him enter the patio. Today, Manzi was preening on his cage top when he let out a warning shriek and took off way too fast. He couldn't stop, but the cupboards in the kitchen helped him to do so. After a thump, he flew back up to his cage breathing very hard. Usually when this happens, I will see a tractor or some large vehicle outside the window. In this case, it was just Smokey. I chased Smokey away and Hercules, who was outside at the time, came back out of his shell.

Manzi is just fine. He is not hurt at all, he just had a scare. Right now he is back to running around on the floor wrecking havoc.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blood and Terror

First, I want to apologize for the delay in updates. Things have been hectic in my life so I haven't done as much training with Manzi.

Here is the blood story: Manzi's nails began to scratch me and that means it's time to clip them. I clipped them as usual and he was just fine with it. After about 30 minutes, he began to fly all around while I was working. He was flying and running around for a few minutes when he landed on me. I noticed that there was blood on his foot. I must have clipped his nail very close to the quick and then Manzi chewed it the rest of the way. I looked up and noticed that he spread blood all over my living area. There were little bloody footprints everywhere. It looked like a mini blood bath and I am glad no policeman randomly showed up or he might not believe my story. I looked at Manzi's nail but couldn't do anything about it and within a minute or so it stopped bleeding anyway. I was a bit concerned about the amount of blood, but Manzi seemed no worse for the wear. It took me nearly 30 minutes to clean up the blood and then sanitize my place. What a bloody mess!!! (get the pun?)

Terror: Lately Manzi has found silverware to be his mortal enemy. I'm not sure why. I think that he wants some of my food and even though I usually give him some, it is not enough so then in frustration he goes after the culprit. Over the past couple weeks I have had spoons and forks tackled, knocked to the floor and then flung around. Manzi flies out of no where at the silverware. He got my finger on accident a couple of times. When I am eating cereal it causes a big mess. Needless to say, now Manzi is locked in his cage for the duration of meals. He is still allowed to hang out with me while I cook, but once the food is ready to serve, he goes in his cage and then it is safe to take out the silverware.

Freeflight: There are still many hawks in the area, but their numbers are diminishing. I am going to resume indoor recalls either today or tomorrow and hopefully within a few weeks we can do outdoor flying again.

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