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Icarus, Daedalus, and me in the local Pride parade! [May. 13th, 2012|10:42 pm]


Ack, this picture is HUGE!Collapse )
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Harness training [Apr. 16th, 2010|10:08 am]

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My two caique parrots have been wearing their Aviator harnesses for about three years. They don't love the process of having the harnesses put on them, but they don't actively fight it either. For a while now I've been wanting to change that, to make it a happier experience for them. Lately I actually set about making a training plan and putting it into action.

The training plan, in a nutshell.Collapse )

To illustrate the process, I made a video of some of my training steps:

(x-posted to parrots101, caiques, and clickertraining)
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Energy levels? [Oct. 28th, 2009|04:38 pm]


I hear a lot of people say, "I could never have a caique; they have too much energy!" I only have caiques, not any other types of parrots, so I don't have a good basis for comparison. So I'm turning to you all:

1. If you have multiple types of parrots, do you think caiques have more energy? If so, how much more energy?

2. (Whether you have other types of birds or not:) Are your caiques high-energy all the time? How much of the day would you say they have really high energy?

3. What factors do you think contribute to your caiques' energy level? (e.g. Foraging, cage size, being flighted or not, having multiple caiques who live together, etc.)

I find that my caiques' energy goes in waves. They usually have a big burst of energy first thing in the morning, then they pig out on breakfast and settle down for a while. They get rambunctious again at some point during the day, then settle down in the afternoon and preen each other and take a nap. Then they are energetic again in the evening, then they put themselves to bed when they're tired.

When they're energetic, they're VERY energetic - sometimes to the point where I have to put them in their room to chill out for a while or do some flight training to burn off some energy. However, they don't sustain that energy level all day; they spend a lot of time preening and napping. Are my caiques unusual? I'd love to hear about everyone else's experiences with this.
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Picspam! [Oct. 15th, 2009|10:28 pm]

It's been far too long since my last photo post, my friends. Today, I will remedy that. :)

Yes, caiques do sit quietly sometimes.

Preening parrots, ahoy!Collapse )

(x-posted to rumorofrain, caiques, parrots101)
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Photo shoot! [Sep. 9th, 2009|11:31 pm]


(x-posted to parrots101 and caiques)
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Don't go there. No, really. [Sep. 1st, 2009|09:38 am]

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My two (3.5-year-old) caiques are really good about knowing the places they're supposed to hang out in the house and the places they aren't. (With occasional slip-ups, or possibly boundary-testing, but hey, nobody's perfect all the time.)

Those "acceptable places" have included, for the past few months, the top of the fridge and the top of the kitchen cabinets. However, since they know that the places they are allowed to hang out are also the places it's okay for them to poop, I've decided this needs to change. They usually don't poop there, but even occasional fridge-pooping is too much fridge-pooping for me.

Last night Operation Don't Go There commenced. They already know the "Go!" cue, which means "fly to an appropriate perch," sometimes combined with pointing to said perch to indicate where I want them to go. Their remaining appropriate perch in the kitchen is a hanging toy in the deep window well over the kitchen sink. I spent a large chunk of last night cueing them to fly to me, then fly to the toy to get a reinforcer. If they flew to the cabinet instead, I immediately pointed and used the "Go" cue to redirect them to the right place.

I started just across the kitchen from the perch, so it was within view. As the training session progressed, I slowly moved around the corner into the living room (the living room and kitchen are one big room, and where they and we usually spend our time) out of sight of the perch. I want them to learn that when they fly from the living room to the kitchen, they need to land on their toy (which requires a sharper turn than flying to the fridge or cabinets).

By the end of the training session, they were choosing the toy over the cabinet about 19 times out of 20. Not bad for an evening's work!

(x-posted to clickertraining)

Oh, and pictures of the little devils in question!

This is what happens when I work from home.

More!Collapse )
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Outside at last [Mar. 27th, 2009|12:55 pm]

I took Caesar outside for the first time on his harness over the weekend. He was a little fussy when we first put the harness on, but once we stepped outside he completely forgot about it and was in total bliss. He was making some of the coolest noises I have ever heard come from him.

Read more...Collapse )

Caesar's also been doing really well in regards to clicker training. I slacked off for a while due to how busy I was with school, but just the other day I asked him to come to me and he flew right to my arm. He remembered everything I had taught him back in the fall! But he's a smart one... he would only fly to me if he saw I was holding a treat for him.

Before getting the harness on him, I was teaching him to pick it up with his beak and using the clicker. I just realized how easy it would be for me to teach him to drop objects into a cup or to "play basketball". I swear, this bird is far too smart for his own good.
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Stick training [Feb. 18th, 2009|02:38 pm]

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A while ago, I asked shadowrabbit for advice on how to prepare for my caiques' impending puberty. One of the things she recommended was teaching them to step up onto a stick.

I finally started working on this recently, using an old dowel perch that came with one of my cages. (Hey, finally a good use for those things!)

At first, both birds thought I was crazy for asking them to step onto this funky, unstable perch. I braced it against another perch and lured them onto it with treats. I got one foot onto it, and finally, after some practice, the second foot onto it.

I left the dowel on top of their cage, where they play all the time, to help them get used to it. (They weren't afraid of the perch itself, just of stepping onto it.)

A few days later I worked with them again, and they were almost flinging themselves onto the perch! It's as if something had clicked in their heads in the intervening days: Hey, standing on that thing means TREATS! They would step onto it instantly, fly to it, hop onto it, step up from the floor, etc. Amazing!

Normally my guys have no problems stepping up, but sometimes when they're running around their cage top they will refuse. Enter the stick! If I offer them a hand to step onto while they're on the cage top, they'll sometimes run away. If I offer them the stick, however, they are all over it!

I'm sure this trick will come in HUGELY handy in another year or so when they become cranky teenagers.

Out of curiosity, how many of you all have taught your birds to step up onto a stick? Have you done any other work to prevent or manage puberty-related behaviors?
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Pic Spam! [Jan. 31st, 2009|09:45 pm]

[mood |tiredtired]

I recently uploaded a bunch of pictures off of my camera and there were quite a few of Mr. Caesar on there so I figured you guys would enjoy seeing some of them. He is definitely one crazy bird and I definitely have to work to keep up with him.

Pictures behind cutCollapse )
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Life With Caiques, Part 1b [Dec. 24th, 2008|03:22 pm]


This video was taken the same night as LWC Part 1, so I'm calling it 1b.

(x-posted to rumorofrain, caiques, and parrots101)
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