Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Beach Flying

So far, beach flying has been unsuccessful, due to operator error. We've only been twice, but I still have a lot of hope. The first flight was fantastic. Manzi did some loops, never hit the end of the line, then circled nicely back to me for a light landing. I was very hopeful. The fishing line got a bit tangled, but that was because I wasn't sure how to use it with a flying bird.

After fixing the line, I sent Manzi out again, but this time he bee lined away from us. With the fishing reel, it no longer snaps him and instead slows him down at the end, so he landed nicely in the sand. I called Manzi back, but he didn't come back and instead stood in the sand angrily biting his foot leash. We sat down, but after about 10 minutes I went towards him. Then he did fly to me.

I went back a few days later. This time when I first released Manzi, he bee lined away from us and then landed in the sand 80 yards away. I went and got him and tried again. This time he did a half circle, but then flew away again. I was irritated with him, so we left him a long ways off and hung out waiting. I didn't want Manzi to learn that he can just fly away and expect me to come get him. After about 20 minutes, I went to get him. As I approached him, I was horrified and seeing that he did unclip his leg leash and was sitting about a foot away from it. He happily came to me and I reclipped it.

Okay, so here's a major error:
Manzi has lost his confidence, due to my over expectations. I had him do more technically difficult flights by expecting him to circle around and land on me. The beach is breezing, new, with lots of seagulls and other birds. He's never been in that environment, so he is afraid. I expected Manzi to be as good as before, when he used to free fly, but it has been 4 years, so he needs to build up the muscle, manueverability and confidence.

We'll go back to the beach, but next time I'll only do a few a - b flights. Then do that for a few days before asking for higher difficulties, like turns and circles.

Update on Maui:
She's been doing well. She enjoys the outside cage a bit more than Manzi. At first, they both loved being outside, but now the novelty of it has worn off. So they still spend a lot of the day inside. I did get Maui a permanent, large bath in the outside cage, so she does bathe every day in it. Manzi has yet to pick up on that habit. I also supply Maui with all the boxes she can handle outside so she also spends at least an hour or so shredding those. Yesterday, in addition to shredding outside boxes, she went inside and wandered over to Manzi's sleeping cage. Then she spent an hour inside shredding up his newspaper for him (he isn't interested in shredding boxes/newspaper). Now both their sleeping cages have nicely shredded bedding.

Lastly, we bought one of those yucca wood toys for the birds. They loved that, but only for 30 minutes or so until it was completely gone. I would like to find yucca wood to make my own toys out of it, without paying an arm and a leg. If anyone has ideas, let me know. The bulk ones sold online are for parrots and likewise are ridiculously marked up.
They do have a treasure chest my sister sent me a few years ago. I've been putting treats in it and that has also kept them really occupied. I may get another one of those because they often fight over the one in their outside cage.

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