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Hodel, Progress report, Benchmark Day, Total break through!

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tekspek
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Hodel, Progress report, Benchmark Day, Total break through!

Post by tekspek » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:08 am

Painfully slow is how I would describe it. After two weeks, Hodel (after Fiddler on the Roof character) has become less and less afraid of me and no longer instinctively moves to the side of her cage that is furthest from me when I approach or even walk by. I never put my hand in her cage, even when she's out if she can see me. She is still afraid of my hand but I can now get my hand a bit closer to her without her retreating. Grapes and possibly coconut are the only treats I can use to train her, but very thin slices are very effective in teaching her. So far she has come to the point where she will come out of her cage for grapes, if I remove her food dishes first. She will take treats out of the palm of my hand now which is a huge advancement from where she was a week ago.

Last night I sat down at the table with a plate of cooked carrots, coconut and grapes and started eating them. She actually came off her cage and walked up to plate and grabbed a grape slice and walked away to eat it. The she stayed on the table and picked at the carrots, but still she kept her distance.

Almost nothing happens with Hodel, unless I act disinterested and look away, not trying to talk to her or encourage her. She does it all when she's good and ready. She's incredibly intelligent. I hid three grapes from her so as to focus her attention on the grape slice in my hand. She saw me hide them under a towel. Two hours later she still hadn't taken the grape from my hand after trying to get the courage several times. I sat down and held the grape slice in my open palm one more time and after about ten minutes she climbed down and walked over to my hand. She pecked my finger and then walked straight to the towel and took the grape from underneath instead.

As much as I hated to, I had to make a 7 hour trip this weekend to go back home. Hodel made the trip very well, but I was afraid that the change in environment would undo any progress I have made. However, she did oppositely of what I expected. She immediately took treats from my wife's hand and became a bit chatty for several minutes after all this time of almost total silence. She got a lot of out of the cage time and played and continued to make progress with me.

Last night I let her out and she played on her playground and then crawled up into my lap for almost a half hour. She was OK there as long as I didn't move my hands. She just sat there. It was a major step and I suppose a huge adventure for her.

I never did put her back into her cage last night. I allowed her to sleep on her playground and this morning I was able to coax her into her cage without much trouble. I make the most progress with her when she's out and she is definitely getting more comfortable with her surroundings and me also.

Hopefully tonight I can begin some target training. I tried last night, but didn't make any progress.

Im open to any advice.
Last edited by tekspek on Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

Wessel Gordon
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Re: Hodel, Progress report

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:36 am

Congratulations on Hodel's progress.

It might seem like painfully slow progress but training birds are a lot like training kids: they learn best if something fascinates them and same days are better than others. With some of my birds it took me months to convince them to take a treat from my hand and with others it took a few weeks. If the bird in question didn't feel like doing what I wanted at that particular time I would try later or another day and rewarded any reaction that wasn't negative even if it wasn't what I wanted it to do.

Just remember: it takes tons of patience and even more time.

Wessel

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report

Post by tekspek » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:13 am

Thanks. I'm only working 8 hours a day on this assignment so I get to spend a lot of time after work with the bird in the evening just one on one. Much of that time I just go about my business for the evening and stopping periodically to work with Hodel. She seems content to just watch. I stay in a big RV camper when I'm out like this which means that most of the time she is in closer than ordinary quarters with me. In a month I'll go to 12 hours a day and Id like to see her get accustomed to being handled, stepping up etc before that time.

I have a question though. I'm downloading youtube videos of IRN sounds and converting them to MP3. I figured that while I'm at work I could let them play for her over the stereo. I noticed that when she hears the videos over my laptop, she gets quite excited and begins to mimic the other birds.

Is this a good idea or not so good?

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Re: Hodel, Progress report

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:39 am

If your aim is to keep her entertained while you're out or busy somewhere else that works fine but obviously if you're aiming to train her to talk having the desired phrase repeated often would be better.

I have a African Grey in the house (all 5 my IRN's are housed outside) for which the television is always turned on. She seems content with it knowing I'm still around but she'll let me know in no uncertain terms if she doesn't approve of the current TV schedule or if she feels neglected by me. That situation is usually easily solved by keeping up a running conversation (i.e. me talking a bunch of utter rubbish if I can't get to her right away) with her. The point is that she then gets the chance to interact with something a bit more alive than the TV. Just be careful with that: just last week she completely freaked me out by saying a word I rarely use around her in a perfect copy of my voice and tone of voice while my back was turned to her...just shows they pick up stuff for later use.

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report

Post by tekspek » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:47 am

I agree that leaving the cd for her while Im at work wont necessarily teach her to talk, but as I said she seems to be excited by the sounds of the IRNs when she hears them on the youtube videos. Shes been very silent since I got her, up till the first time she heard the videos. When I play them for her she imitates the sounds immediately. Since I started doing this, she has been more vocal. This is why I thought to leave a compilation of IRN sounds on a on a CD and leave it on while Im at work. Of course it would only last an hour at best. But it does seem to stimulate her to whistle and chortle a bit more.

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Re: Hodel, Progress report

Post by MissK » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:31 pm

That's OK. You don't want to have noise on all the time. She'll need time for that important napping.
-MissK

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report

Post by tekspek » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:29 am

Major breakthrough last night. I took Hodel out last night after work. She now looks forward to it because all the time I'm home she is out of her cage and usually stays on her playground. I set her, playground and all, on the couch last night to clean her cage and put in some new foraging toys.

She stayed on the couch when I put the playground back by her cage. I sat on the other end and she stayed their for an hour while I watched the news and played with some toys etc.

I got the guitar out and started playing. Immediately she walked across the couch and got on my lap and played with my shirt for a few minutes. The next I knew she had cuddled up as close to the guitar as she could and she went to sleep for an hour, right up till I stopped playing. I played for another 20 minutes and she did the same again, as close to the guitar as possible and sound a sleep.

Then she stepped up and let me pet her head for just a few seconds. I used the opportunity to return her to her playground which I hope sends the message that the hand that picks her up also puts her in her safe place.

The IRN sounds CD was also mildly effective this morning. She began to mimic the sounds she heard.

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Re: Hodel, Progress report

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:56 am

The fact that she actually chose you as her ''perch'' for a nap is a great leap forward. It shows she's comfortable and relaxed around you. Depending on how skillful you play guitar she might start imitating the songs you play often. It's also a huge thing that she stepped up onto your hand considering the fact that some birds have an irrational fear of hands (luckily I've never encountered it with my birds, but if I wear gloves more or less all freak out).

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report

Post by tekspek » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:44 am

My experience with birds has always been that by the time a bird was comfortable in your lap or shoulder they were already very used to your hand, in fact your hand is their ticket out of their cage. This bird is most comfortable with me when I am sitting down and my hands are out of play period.

Ive never had a bird that didn't respond to music. I've played for 40 years so I'll try some melodic tunes and see what happens.

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report, now comletely confused

Post by tekspek » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:57 am

Hodel will take food from the palm of my hand. No matter how much space I give her or how slow and gentle I am, that is where it stops with the hand. She wont be petted or step up or allow my hand anywhere near her unless she wants whatever is in it badly enough to take the chance.

So I noticed that, if she ends up on the floor, she will step up and from that point, I've been able to get her to step up two or three times, but basically her intent is to climb to my shoulder. Once there she seems to be content and somewhat trusting. So I decided that perhaps I should skip any hand training and try to develop some trust by having her on my shoulder. I can get her from her cage to the couch when she is on her play ground by taking the playground to the couch. She doesn't seem to mind. Then she will either eventually come to visit me on the couch or go to the floor. When she goes to the floor, I get her to step up and then she goes straight to my shoulder and each time she been less skittish than before.

So yesterday she was on my shoulder and laid down on the bed for a nap. She stayed there. I slept for an hour and a half and she was completely asleep on my arm during the entire time. I was amazed.

Here is where I'm confused. (I'm more focused right now at maintaining a level of tameness and trust than trying to get her to bond) She has sat on me comfortably three times in the past three weeks. When I take her back to her cage, I always give her space for several hours rather than to push her. But for the next day or so after, its as if I have destroyed her trust. She begins to retreat and avoid again and for the first time, yesterday she tried to bite and became combative and territorial when I tried to give her a treat. Eventually she becomes more and more trusting to take food from my hand and less prone to avoidance and retreat when I approach her cage. Then, if I get her on my shoulder using the method I described above, the whole cycle of building trust starts again and takes several days. Even walking past her cage and ignoring her results in a retreat for the first day or so after.

As of yet, since I got her home, Ive never pet her or touched her head and never grabbed her. Every time she has sat on my shoulder, she has tucked her head and gone to sleep or played with my shirt as if she has no fear at all.

Although she has come to the place that she communicates by sounding back at me. The more I talk to her the longer she chortles and whistles or whatever IRN's do. Its definitely a two way thing there. That lets me know that she's apparently comfortable in her surroundings.

So can anyone explain to me the sudden change in behavior after she sits on my shoulder? Thank you in advance.

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by tekspek » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:36 am

OK little has changed and possibly we're losing ground. She runs from me more than usual even though I am careful not to approach her cage too often. She still takes food from my hand but is extremely skittish about it and runs away as soon as she manages to grab it.

On the other hand, She got on the floor last night and I got her to step up right away. This is the only place Ive ever gotten her to step up. This time as she tried to immediately climb up to my shoulder, I put my finger in front of her and she stepped up again. I slowly pulled her towards my chest and she stayed there surprisingly. Then she allowed me to pet her head and I was able to pet her and talk to her for about 5 minutes.

She was all to glad to get back to her cage though. As is the pattern she immediately began to act as if she is terrified of me.

I really don't get this.

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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by MissK » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:51 am

It really sounds like she got pushed past her comfort level and now she's spooked. Go back to the beginning, in the training. Progress at her comfort level. Make sure each piece of training is stable before you move to the next. Go slow. Let her make the decisions.
-MissK

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by tekspek » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:09 am

So going back to just letting her come out of the cage and taking food from my hand and not trying to get her to step up or anything like that wont result in her losing any tameness?

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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by MissK » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:17 pm

As long as you are interacting she is not likely to "lose tameness". My suggestion is that whatever level of tameness or type of behaviour that you feel you've recently lost was not actually achieved reliably in the first place. In other words, I think you progressed your training too fast for her to build solid behaviour. I advise you just go through the program again, but this time more slowly and make sure she has achieved behaviours solidly before you ask for the next. "Fake it till you make it" might work for humans, but I don't think so much for birds.

Some people get the bird to step up to a stick when they can't get it to step to the hand. Mine steps to the wrist. He will step to the finger if sufficiently motivated, but he is not solid in that behavior. I ask for it maybe once or twice every few months, and he doesn't lose his level of being able to step to the finger. He has other interactions keeping him comfortable with the overall idea of standing on a human. If I really cared about stepping to the finger (wasn't so darn lazy) he would be offered the chance to advance his behaviour (more frequent training) and he would do it more reliably.

I know Hodel is terribly exciting, but if you just go slow and steady, with respect, I think you'll both be fine. It might help to think of training as you setting the stage for Hodel to develop her potential, like opening the door for someone who has too many boxes in their hands to open it for themselves. Make yourself a facilitator (as in the dictionary, not a resume). Maybe that kind of perspective is too much in my head for me to express properly.
-MissK

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by tekspek » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:31 pm

I had heard that if you don't interact with ring necks daily, they will regress from any tameness they may have achieved. I don't know if that is true. I'm not sure how to define "interact" but I think that what you are saying is that , If Hodel is comfortable with coming out of her cage and taking treats from my palm, that is where I should go back to and leave off trying to get her to step up. I have been equating tameness with the bird being in physical contact. IE stepping up, sitting on shoulder, petting her etc. Is that errant on my part then?

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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:40 pm

MissK,

Are you suggesting that he should get consistent results for at least a week or two to a cue (such as putting his finger before her to step up) before moving to something a bit more challenging?

Tekspek,

Just remember that, like humans, all birds learn new things at different rates and as MissK suggested it's a good idea that you get the same result over and over for the simple cues before moving on. It's still training but simplified with smaller ''stepping stones''. I am busy teaching an African Grey of a year old to talk (a lot different from step up and a completely different species, I know) and it seems that using variations of words she's already saying makes it easier for her to pick up new words...I think of that as the ''small steppingstones'' I mentioned.

As for your last post: I have a flock of 5 Ringnecks in various stages of being ''tame'' to wild (from taking treats from my hand to ''avoid that guy at cost''). In the beginning of the year I was hospitalized for 7 weeks and after I returned I could hand out treats to those that will take them as if I've been away for 5 minutes. I was lucky enough to have someone ''bird-sit'' for me that's familiar with the birds and that the birds know but that person doesn't interact with them as I do. Based on that I think it is safe to say that it's bit of a myth that birds need to handled constantly to be ''tame''.

Wessel

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by tekspek » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:53 pm

Thanks for the input all. I guess we'll be going back to the "want a grape Hodel?" stage and stay on that ground for a while.

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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:07 pm

Tekspek

You could also offer her small bits of other fruits during this stage. That will help you discover what her favorite treats are and incorporate it into later training. Let's say her favorite treat is a slice of apple and second is a grape. For at least an effort at the behavior you want from her, give her a grape...if she nails it she gets to enjoy the apple. That way you always reward small bits of progress no matter how insignificant that might seem to you.

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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:08 pm

But for right now you might be back to ''want a treat, Hodel?''

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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by MissK » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:45 am

Wessel, thanks for the help. It might be good if I made an outline or something before I just start banging away at the keys.

But yes, get that behaviour, whatever it is, very solid before moving on. Take plenty of time, as much as is needed and maybe a little more, just to bask in the glow of success. If you build on a shaky foundation, well, you know what will happen. So slow down, take time, take baby steps. If you have the time, I strongly urge anyone to read _Don't Shoot The Dog_ by Karen Pryor. If your bird still has to think about your request, then the behaviour is not solid. When she starts offering the learned behaviour just because she sees the treat jar, she's more solid than you need. :lol:

About IRNs losing tameness with lightning speed - I think it's hogwash, too. I talked with someone on Avian Avenue before I got my first IRN. She told me that IRNs lose tameness so readily that one could not even hold a job because it would take them away from their bird too much for the bird to stay tame. Scout's Honour, that's what she said. Complete Baloney.

Here's my anecdote:
I don't really train Rocky very much. I had to spend a lot of time, so much time, handling some family stuff that came up repeatedly, and I was away from the house a lot. I took to just letting birds out of the cage and going about the details of running the house in between long hours at my mom's house or the hospital. Lots of times they didn't get out of the cage at all.

Did my Rockstar go wild? Did he start retreating from me? Was he reluctant to take treats from the hand? Not at all!! I was so shamed one day when I was rushing in, past the cages, and he started following me inside the cage, all five feet, desperately telling me I was a pretty bird. (He solicits attention from me and from other birds by saying Pretty Bird.) I was worried that he would stop stepping up because he did eventually start looking a bit nervously at my hand in the cage, but it turned out to be not worth the worry. InTheAir suggested I just ask for a quick step up when I put the food in, which I did just a few times, and there he was, right back to stepping up.

If you are equating physical interaction with tameness, I think you're oversimplifying the relationship. You develop and keep familiarity by interacting in general. Interacting with your bird is just that - anything you do together. Hand feeding, games, contact calls, physical contact, training, even the blink game - all interaction. It's embarrassing, but some of the best fun I've had with Rocky has been mimicking his actions for him. Boy, is that silly. You might try it.

Here's another anecdote, about baby steps in training and knowing when to move to the next step:
I have two IRNs. My second, Sinbad (Mr. Sinbad Sillypants), is not tame. He used to be NOT TAME WHATSOEVER. Now he's just plain old not tame, but accustomed to living in the house with me and the other animals. He freaks out much less. Right now I am working InTheAir's suggestion with Sinbad, sort of. She says to drop treats in the bird's cup every time you go by and eventually the bird will be taking it from you in her haste to have the treat. Essentially.

Rocky and Sinbad are in the same cage. I've been stuffing Rocky with walnut chips and dropping them in Sinbad's cup at the same time. I move my hand away; Sinbad goes for his chip, grabs it, retreats to eat. Then I place two chips at once and Sinbad learns to linger at the cup. Once Sinbad started moving for his cup when Rocky got a nut chip, I started placing Sinbad's bit on a piece of plastic by the cup. It happens that I can hold the nut there or put it on the plastic, and the nut is in the same place. Sinbad got pretty good at picking his nut chip from there. So far so good. Now, for my next goal, I wanted Sinbad to move towards my hand when I place the chip. I've started removing my hand more slowly after placing Sinbad's chip. Sinbad's begun getting impatient for me to move my hand. He has begun advancing slightly while my hand is still there.

Now here I want you to pay attention: On this day, Sinbad started looking like he wanted to take the nut from my hand. He approached my hand after I had placed the chip and left my hand there. He seemed to make a false start of reaching for it. Him looking like he wants to and him doing it are not the same thing. Him braving up once and taking the nut and him being confident taking it are not the same thing. I know that if he overreaches his comfort by taking the nut before he's ready, he risks freaking himself out and regressing, losing some of the ground he has won in this struggle to gain the skill of taking nuts I offer. So, I got a particularly large bit of nut, held it in the spot, and watched him come in for it. He got as far as leaning in with his beak wide open when I SO GENTLY & SLOWLY moved my hand away. The nut fell in the familiar cup. He got his nut, and a bonus of my hand leaving, AND it was a really big nut for him. That was all for the day. I treated Rocky, closed the jar of nuts, and walked away.

What is my next move tomorrow? Tomorrow I pretend he did not reach for my hand held nut with his mouth gaping open today. (Truthfully, I'm over the moon and I can't get the visual out of my head.) Tomorrow I review dropping nuts in the cup and just placing nut chips and slowly moving my hand away. I don't know if he will come and reach for a hand held nut or not. I'm not looking for him to take a nut from my hand. I'm looking for him to build confidence walking towards my hand. Taking the nut from the hand is a goal for another day, after the skill of approaching the hand is easy and reliable.

So, we all know the ultimate goal is" Sinbad takes food from my hand". But, between "Sinbad doesn't run away when my hand goes near his cup" and "Sinbad takes from the hand", there are many little steps that can't be rushed. For a time frame, I think I started dropping the nut in the cup sometime in August, and I do it when I remember, not every day. This is the slow, lazy approach. Your mileage may vary.

I talk too much. I'm way late for bed, too. I hope some if this made sense.
-MissK

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by tekspek » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:55 pm

Ill try to comprehend all this. There's a lot here and that's OK. I appreciate the input from all of you.

I didn't try to get Hodel to step up last night at all. In fact I just let her be. She was out of the cage from the time I got home. I had some work to do and I was in and out of the RV all afternoon. finally I sat down for a while and plugged the guitar in to the amp. I've played acoustic guitar in front of her and gotten some small vocal reactions. I turned the amp up a little and put a little distortion and ran a drum track and played Don't Call Us, Well Call You by Sugarloaf 1975.

Hodel went absolutely nuts. She sang and whistled her fool little head off for the entire thirty minutes non stop. I guess she likes good old fashioned rock and roll.

Afterwards I had to help out one of the neighbors and again I was in and out, but I noticed that as I came and went she followed me across the top of her cage. Shes not done that before.

She did find the straw berry I left on the table and slung it all over the place, little shards of strawberry everywhere. She was quite unhappy when I lured her cage for the night with a grape.

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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by InTheAir » Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:57 am

I don't know if you want my 2c, but I really think the less pressure and expectations you put on a ringneck the quicker and better they respond. We have experimented with visitors who come to our house to see what effect different approaches have on both our birds. Nila is very tame and will take a treat from anyone, but that doesn't mean he will step up for them if they reach towards him.
Both our birds respond really well to strangers who walk into their room, say hi from a distance and do something else, whilst ignoring the birds. Sapphire has even flown over to land on people who don't pressure her, even if they don't have food and she has never seen them before.

She screams and zooms into the other room if strangers "try to make friends with her", no matter what treats they are holding. I even got one guy, who was buying car parts from my boyfriend, to come in and offer her her absolute favourite (a syringe with juice in it- we can get her to do anything if we offer her that!) and she still wouldn't go near him when he offered it directly to her. Once he turned away to talk to me, Sapphire started to approach him (well the syringe really).
I never have my birds caged when people they don't know come over as Sapphire finds it stressful when she can't leave the room if she wants to. The guy who fixed the oven recently ended up doing the job with Nila glued to his shoulder and Sapph hanging from the pantry door above him. He made no overtures towards the birds at all, just did his job and the birds thought he was great!

I have noticed that my birds respond really well to people who are very self aware and aware of where the birds are in relation to themselves but let the birds be. This is similar to how I made friends with Sapph, I avoided direct movements and eye-contact towards her and just dropped yummy things where she could reach them.
The only reason ringnecks learn an aversion to hands is when hands behave unpredictably or try to coerce them. Simple, but not for people like me who tell stories with the aid of their hands....

tekspek
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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by tekspek » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:23 am

I think I'm finding this to be true. If I go about my business and talk to her and feed her little fruits and nuts, she seems to be much less skittish and lately she's been staying on the end of her cage that is closest to me.

She went nuts last night when I tried out the banjo with her and got even more vocal when I played in minor key rather than major key. That I find very interesting.

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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by Wessel Gordon » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:00 pm

tekspek

While my Banana is an African Grey and not an IRN she has definite likes and dislikes as far as music goes. Some stuff she'll ''sing'' along to happily for hours but if something she doesn't like comes on she'll let you know with a few ear-piercing screeches. So far I haven't been able to pinpoint what kind of music she likes/dislikes but she has a definite taste in music.

My oldest IRN is the same: will either try and interact with the music or scream her head off if she disapproves.

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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by InTheAir » Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:11 pm

Our birds seem to like acoustic guitar better than electric, but in Sapph's case it is purely because she wants to climb in the hole... Sapphire screams when I play the recorder, which is a pity because I wanted to teach her to whistle "Morning has broken" and she sounds like a recorder sometimes.

Here is a short video of Nila and my boyfriend having a jam. David learns an important lesson: make sure the bird approves of the song you play when he is on your shoulder http://youtu.be/lT9wuGpLw_k

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Re: Hodel, Progress report, Completely confused now

Post by tekspek » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:01 am

Thanks for all the advice guys. It is definitely working. Hodel is consistently showing no fear of me now, even to the point that I have to get her to move out of the way just so I can clean up around her cage.

Now instead of my trying to offer her treats from my hand, she has suddenly become a mooch, climbing off her playground to take food from my plate. I'll have to keep this in check I guess. When I had cockatiels, I didn't do that and they decided they were entitled to it.

I rarely eat anything she shouldn't eat so I don't worry about that, although she made a pest of herself over a vanilla wafer and icecream last night. I had to go elsewhere to eat that.

tekspek
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:30 am

Re: Hodel, Progress report, Benchmark Day, Total break throu

Post by tekspek » Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:39 am

Hodel and I had basically hit a wall. Her limit of interaction has taking food from my hand, some mooching, communicating vocally and that's about it. OH yeah and a bit of biting, which I have been ignoring.

I decided tis time to advance a little. So I discovered that when I am asleep on the couch, Hodel apparently sees me as uch less of a threat because she comes on her on now and climbs around me a bit when she thinks Im asleep. She shows no fear when I move.

Another thing is that I work 12 hours a night and come home and go straight to bed after letting her out of her cage and spending some one on one time with her, usually about a half hour. Two weeks ago, she started to make a bit of a whining mournful squeak as soon as I left the room to go to bed. I ignored it. Then she apparently discovered some new sounds and now when I leave the room, she goes on a non stop scream fest that sounds something akin to a crow. And then in the afternoon she starts again und doesn't stop until I get up and say something to her.

So yesterday I took a little nap after she woke me up and I took her play ground to the bed so she wouldn't scream again. It worked.
I slept for an hour or so as did she and then, for the first time in a month, I made an attempt to get her to step up. She fought it at first and flew off. but I tried again and she sure enough stepped up. I tried some lattering and told her to step u and she did. Then she let me pet her and scratch her head. (She molting) She made her little clucking sound that she makes when she's happy and didn't try to bite or to crawl up my arm to safety.

This is a huge step for Hodel. Its a first (without getting an attitude or avoidance) since I got her.

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