A Bird Leash?
Posted 10 September 2013 - 08:57 PM
Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:01 PM
I had Bobbie (my umbrella cockatoo, RIP) on the harness. Bobbie was a free flight bird and actually got excited when I would get the harness out - because he knew we were going outside for him to fly around. Whenever we were going to and from the flight field, Bobbie would be harnessed and leashed - so if something were to scare him and he took off, he could only fly as far as the leash. This was the tool I used to teach him to return to me when he was first learning "free flight" It wasn't actually "free flight" as he was on the leash. But he quickly learned to come when called outside, like he did in the house and gym where we first trained. I always recommend that you have a 95% or higher success rate on flying to you on command - before you attempt flight outside. There are too many variables outside for the bird to deal with, and if you get out of sight, until the bird knows the area real well, the bird may get lost. When your bird is out of sight, you don't know what "wild" predators may be waiting in the bushes.
I highly recommend the aviator flight harness if you want to safely take you bird on road trips. If your bird is free in the car (which I don't recommend) and you open the door - it only takes a second for the bird to fly out - and without a harness and leash, bye bye birdie.
Posted 12 September 2013 - 11:05 PM
I think Happy would turn my hands into raw hamburger if I ever tried to put a flightsuit on her.
Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:26 PM
Posted 15 September 2013 - 07:30 PM
First you just introduce it to the bird. Just have it close while working on other behaviors. Then, using the touch it command - reward for touching. Then - reward for touching it while I'm holding it. Then reward for allowing it to be on him. Not wearing it - but having it touch him - to having it rubbed all over him. Then touching while I'm holding the wing out. Then putting the head through the loop. This was a behavior that we did with rings, holes in towels, and putting is head through the hole I made with my fingers. So putting his head through the loop of the harness - was just another thing to put his head through. He was ok with that after a couple of attempts. Really big rewards were given for allowing more and more time with the harness staying on his body. The training went very quickly after he put it on the second time. Flying with it was not an issue at all. And as soon as he realized that wearing the harness meant going outside - he would ask for it - because he liked outdoor time.