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Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

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Donovan
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Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by Donovan » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:22 pm

Have you ever thought about how your bird would survive if he or she were to fly out the door or a window?.. It happens. You can have a single bird that you're tightly bonded to for many years and one day a single slip-up can send your bird flying away.

I've been thinking of teaching my bird survival skills giving him not just a healthy vegetable, but introducing him to the entire plant; to teach him what to look for.

My bird loves corn.. raw, boiled, or popped. I am thinking of teaching him what a corn stalk looks like. In case he ever gets away from me he'll know what his favorite food looks like in its most basic form. I will be taking several corn stalks and teaching him that he can get his corn from those and not just the little plate i feed him on. He loves blueberries also. I have a couple of blueberry bushes in my yard so he always has blueberries to eat. However, he doesn't know what the bush looks like. I am going to cut off a large section of one of the bushes, more than once, and teach him what a blueberry bush looks like. Tomatoes aren't the best food for birds but they're not outright poison so i will teach him those too (to help draw him toward human gardens). Apples are good too, not the ones bought in stores but the kind that you might grow in your yard, again, to help draw him towards humans.

I also am considering getting a regular wild bird feeder and either putting it in his big outdoor cage or putting a wild bird feeder just outside of his cage (so he can observe other birds eating from it)

We all want to keep our birds safe and healthy, but what if he flies away? Don't you want to think that your bird -might- have an idea what to eat when he's out there alone and scared?

A bird feeder is a good one because it would increase your bird's chance of being taken in by another human or somehow being returned to you.. but in the meantime they need to know what to eat.

So, teach your bird what food looks like when it's not in a bowl. It may increase their survivability should they escape.

(I don't like that term escape really. Pet birds aren't so desperate to get away from you that it's an escape.. It's a momentary panic session that ends up with them flying away, but they'd really like to come home)

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InTheAir
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by InTheAir » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:38 pm

Novel idea. I am pretty sure tomato plants are toxic to most creatures though.

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Donovan
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by Donovan » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:43 pm

The plant is yes, the tomato itself is safe enough in moderation.

MissK
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by MissK » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:55 pm

Donovan, I'm liking this idea.
-MissK

SkyeBerry
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by SkyeBerry » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:51 am

Smart man! Really liking the idea about the bird feeder.
Mary

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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by SkyeBerry » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:11 am

Animals are so amazing! That must have been incredible to watch! I wonder if something like that could be found on youtube/net? If I find something, I will post it.

And yes, it is my understanding that learning from the flock is why it is suggested we eat something in front of the birds that we want them to eat. The theory being that if we eat it and survive, then they know it is safe to eat. If they don't see another 'flock member' eat the item, then it may not be safe and therefore not eaten. Thus, we are taking over for the parent bird.
Mary

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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by Little Buttercup » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:15 am

Donovan, reading this thread of yours made the tears roll out of my eyes :cry: Hope Kiwi found a nice human!

I have plenty tomatoes in my garden and the wild birds sit on them and eat it, they don't eat the plant though. They hardly leave any for me! Anyway I leave them, I can buy from the store. Sunflowers also I plant and the birds sit on them and eat the ripe seeds.

Ash

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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by Little Buttercup » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:04 pm

Another thing just came to mind now, a while ago I read in the newspaper about a lost budgie, someone found it and kept it in a cage and the budgie kept on repeating its street address. And it that way it was returned to its owner! So maybe those who have talking birds should teach them to say their home address.

Ash

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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by SkyeBerry » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:09 am

I am impressed by the person who thought to teach their budgie its own address. Skye tends to choose the words he wants. I have only every really taught him one phrase. It is a mantra - "Skye is a big brave bird." :lol: He's getting there.

Birds can also be micro-chipped. It is easy and virtually painless. I have a concern that they might chew at that location. I keep meaning to ask my vet but forget. I am also concerned that a shelter/rescue might forget to check or even have the equipment. It is however getting more popular here. The municipalities have been taking about making it mandatory for cats.

What I do find surprising is how many lost/escaped finches end up flying into peoples homes. Our local shelter is constantly being called about them. One lady was in absolute hysterics demanding they go to her house and capture two big birds that were terrorizing her in her own home - a male and female zebra finch. I think people sometimes also give up looking too early. I know someone who works with 911 bird rescue and it not uncommon for them to end up re-homing their birds through a rescue. Very sad. :cry:
Mary

MissK
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by MissK » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:13 am

"I can't leave the bathroom - THERE ARE FINCHES OUT THERE!!!!!!!!"

How come stuff like that never happens to me? Only thing ever followed me into the house was a bunch of wasps, and I didn't want THEM!
-MissK

SkyeBerry
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by SkyeBerry » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:44 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

If you move here and you are really lucky, you have the chance of getting skunks, coyotes, squirrels, various birdies - big and small, or a bear - in your kitchen if you leave the door open. And believe it or not, I do not live in the country!

But I know how you feel. I think everyone on this street has seen a bear, except me. I think it is because I have a dog and he is in the yard a lot and when I am out he is with me. I think the bears smell him, at least I hope it is him and not me, and they go the other way. We actually have a Bear Aware program and the city pays for an education officer. He says bird feeders are not allowed except in the very dead of winter and they need to come down early. He is not exaggerating. The bears raid feeders all the time. And they are very happy to lick your BBQ clean for you...SLURP!
Mary

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Donovan
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by Donovan » Fri May 09, 2014 11:22 am

I am thinking teaching my birds that certain insects can be food, like grasshoppers. I don't know if that will work but in the event of an escape it could be valuable information to have.

I'm also wondering if there is a way to teach them, from the aviary, to hide from hawks. Mr Bell pays close attention to the skies so it might be easy to teach the habit of becoming very still and quiet when there's a hawk around.

MissK
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by MissK » Fri May 09, 2014 8:45 pm

OH NO! Keep them away from your praying mantis!! :o

I kinda bet they will know about the hawk, though. If you are really committed to that, maybe you can locate a falconer's group and have them do some exercises in your yard?
-MissK

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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by Melika » Tue May 13, 2014 5:54 am

Donovan wrote:I am thinking teaching my birds that certain insects can be food, like grasshoppers. I don't know if that will work but in the event of an escape it could be valuable information to have.

I'm also wondering if there is a way to teach them, from the aviary, to hide from hawks. Mr Bell pays close attention to the skies so it might be easy to teach the habit of becoming very still and quiet when there's a hawk around.

This seems to come naturally to them, judging from Hane and Tsume's response to birds flying high overhead, but if the hawk is close they won't sit still. Only the larger parrots instinctually freeze- the smaller ones all take flight.
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AJPeter
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by AJPeter » Tue May 13, 2014 1:32 pm

MissK your Manits is praying "Don't let those birds come near me!"

As soon as a bird is free it will fly to a high tree. And then look around it has no idea where it has come from. The first essential is to get out there and call your birds name, keep calling and looking for it. Get your bird used to flying to you, on your shoulder, hand wrist what ever.

I heard there are over 50,000 IRN and Alex flyiing around London and up to 15,000 in the Sandwell valley. IRN and Alex are flock birds and that is where they go. When l take Billie out to sit in the garden she mostly ignores brids but a magpie came close and Billie strarted to call to it, l think if she saw another Alex she would have kittens.

Donovan l think your motives are sound but l wonder what would happen if you teach your bird to eat canabis leaves?

The interesting thing about Billie was that when her previous owner pushed her out of an upstairs window, she did not fly off, but flew down and sat on grass until another neighbour tried to get her into a cat box, but all Billie did was sit on the end of the box until l came along put hand out and she ran up my arm. Billie not the neighbour.

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Donovan
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by Donovan » Tue May 13, 2014 4:42 pm

AJPeter wrote:MissK your Manits is praying "Don't let those birds come near me!"
I'm the one with a praying mantis :P

AJPeter wrote: Donovan l think your motives are sound but l wonder what would happen if you teach your bird to eat canabis leaves?
As with any green leaf foods he would check it out... then lose interest due to lack of zesty or tart flavoring. If a bird did eat a bunch of cannabis leaves i would imagine it would get the bird high, and enough would likely kill it.
AJPeter wrote:The interesting thing about Billie was that when her previous owner pushed her out of an upstairs window, she did not fly off, but flew down and sat on grass until another neighbour tried to get her into a cat box, but all Billie did was sit on the end of the box until l came along put hand out and she ran up my arm. Billie not the neighbour.
Was Billie being "released"?

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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by AJPeter » Wed May 14, 2014 1:16 pm

My Neighbour two blocks away had a dog, three canaries and Alexandrine parrot. They all ran looose in his upstairs flat, evidently when the bird wanted to go to sleep it just put it head under its wing where ever it was, but it attacked the canaries so my neighbour pushed it out of the up stairs window, yes it was being released but instead of flying off it landed on the grass below, you would have thought its wings were clipped, but not as it flew in my living room a few days later.

There was a time a few days after l brought Billie into my uopstairs flat that l left the side door the cage not properly fastened and and she managed to get out, when l came home the window was open and the breeze was blowing the net curtains, she just sat there on top of the cage making no attempt to fly off!

Strange bird!

I was thinking of teaching her karate but the last ime she bit me l realized she is quite capable of looking after herself!

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Donovan
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by Donovan » Wed May 28, 2014 4:23 pm

This thread:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=19377

got me to thinking yet again about the importance of teaching your bird survival skills.

Expose your bird to different types of cages.
If you get a new cage, don't throw the old one away. Re-introduce your bird to the old cage sometimes.

They need it hardwired in their brains that safe spots (ie cages) come in all shapes and sizes.
If your bird escapes and somehow looks towards a human for help, that person may try to lure them into a cage that's far different from anything they've ever seen. Their little bird brains need enough examples of cages to properly catalog the concept.

Food for thought I suppose.

yellowring
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by yellowring » Wed May 28, 2014 9:08 pm

Hi, I am a noob here, but this thread caught my eye so I figured Id add my $0.02 :)

I have always heard that one of the most important things to teach your bird is how to fly DOWN from a high place.

This makes perfect sense, because if you think about it, most pet birds fly in our houses and are at the same elevation as everything else, including us(people).

It was said in an earlier reply about when birds get out they usually fly to a tall tree or place, and I have first hand experience with that because Ive had to climb up and collect my own bird off my neighbors roof before... she didnt want to fly away, but she just probably didnt know how to get down, she stepped right up and happily got stuffed into my shirt for the climb down...

I think at that point, most pet birds would want to come back, but they just dont know how to fly down like that.
They end up getting higher and farther away, finally becoming "lost".

So how DOES one go about teaching a bird to fly down from a high place....

MissK
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by MissK » Wed May 28, 2014 9:22 pm

I imagine getting the bird to fly down a flight of stairs in the house would be about the only practical way for us.

Of note, when Rocky was new in my house he even had to learn how to walk/climb down his perch ladder. For those who don't recall, I set a row of perches in his cage about 7" apart, in ladder formation. I was so proud when he learned to go down. Now he's a pro and I have redone the ladder so he must change direction to climb some of them.
-MissK

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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by AJPeter » Thu May 29, 2014 12:28 pm

I have a terrible memory MissK but l seem to remember that some one taught their bird to fly down the stair well and also round corners and yet thet bird escaped, can you remember who it was?

I think Yellowring is right about teaching birds to fly down from high places, Bille would rather climb down the outside of her cage to get to the floor than fly down.

However she knows how to defend herself from unwanted attention!

sanjays mummi
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by sanjays mummi » Thu May 29, 2014 2:42 pm

When I was a child, living on the third floor of a victorian house, my mother would hang her budgie cage from a nail on the outside wall. One evening when she went to bring the cage in, she found the door had opened and her budgie gone, so she left the cage outside, with the door open all night. The following morning, without any real hope, she checked the cage, only to find her budgie sitting on his perch, looking like butter wouldnt melt! :D

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Donovan
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by Donovan » Thu May 29, 2014 4:12 pm

I talked to a bird breeder once who told me he wouldn't raise IRNs anymore because one got out and unlatched all the other cages.. they all escaped.. the next morning all but 2 had returned

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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by AJPeter » Fri May 30, 2014 12:55 pm

No need to teach karate to Billie, her bite is worse than her bark!

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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by Melika » Fri May 30, 2014 10:45 pm

Hane can fly down stairs, around corners, etc. He's an ace flyer when flighted- can even hover. Hane regularly will fly down to the floor or wherever. He is currently clipped and even clipped he will flap/glide down to the floor. Of course, the floor is the one place I DO NOT want him haha! I don't want a squished birdie... at least when he has done so and I am looking for him, he will respond to my call for him.
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I've been called 'birdbrained' before, but somehow I don't think this is what they meant. say:hah-nay

sanjays mummi
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Re: Teaching Your Bird Survival Skills

Post by sanjays mummi » Sat May 31, 2014 1:28 am

I love watching Sanjay hover, for birds of their size, they are very graceful.

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