Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Russian Husband

Does anyone have a secret recipe for 'rushin'-a Husband'? It would be worth ba-gillions of rubels!

The top 5 'reasons' why Fort Strider is not completed:

1. It is too cold outside.
2. It is too hot outside.
3. It is too wet outside. (does Goldilocks come to mind?)
4. Creativity cannot be rushed.
5. Because it isn't.

While I may be patient when working with my birds....

Anyway, I rearranged the bird room the other day in further preparation for Fort Strider while the husband was taking a nap... (oops, I mean while he was working on some creative aspect of the Fort Strider design with his eyes closed...).

All of Coco's pieces are movable, but some of them require power tools to do so. The ones I can move, I do, but in any redecoration process one must take into consideration the #1 rule of Fort Design: Consider the poop-line. That determines everything! The second determination is the crumb-line.

I'm very pleased with the changes. I am most excited that Coco is once again utilizing her foraging area more frequently. There was a bit of a drop off after it was initially introduced and enjoyed (does availability of a reinforcer come to mind?). It is good to change things up every so often, not only for people but for birds! Since Coco allows Sammy and Strider to share certain areas of her Fort, at certain times and under certain conditions that only she can identify, making changes in her Fort benefit and enrich the entire flock.

As I mention on this (not-so-short) video tour of the bird room and acoutrements, rearranging the room serves two purposes of enrichment: 1) Watching me do it - - apparently I am oddly fascinating!; and 2) creating new pathways and interest in the environment. It provides new decision-making opportunities, and in some instances can even alter flight patterns (take-offs and landings). For those of you willing to sit through my soft-mumblings on the video, thank you in advance!

So, while I am putting the finishing touches on my next post: the importance of creating consistent patterns of behavior in myself, and the benefits to the relationship with my birds, I give you:

Fort Coco - Rearranged!

I hope you enjoy it!

(Note: I see that only about one half (5 minutes) of the 10 minute video actually uploaded. So I will give you a verbal of the rest... as I approached the door where Coco is playing, I explain that as a precaution, since the door opens in, it takes two seconds to make sure that door is locked, to prevent an accident. The white towel you see on the floor where she is playing serves two purposes: it keeps her from crawling behind the unit and it covers a phone wire.

When birds have access to the entire room, whether 24/7 as mine or only during parts of the day, every precaution should be taken to prevent little beaks from gaining access to places they should not be. It is easy enough to do, and simply prudent.

I also pause to mention that you may notice that Fort Coco is not the only wood in the bird room. And beyond that, there are a number of things (books, pictures, etc.) that she could get into if she wanted to. But part of living with a bird is creating a relationship, through what I call life-style training, where there is a co-existence, an understanding if you will, even as simple as "my things" and "your things".

I am often asked:

"Doesn't she chew up everything in the room - furniture, door jambs, etc.?"
No; she doesn't.

"Doesn't she poo on everything in the room?"
No; she doesn't.

First, she doesn't perch anywhere but in her Fort, and second, when she is walking around playing, she will return to the Fort if she needs to relieve herself. This is all a matter of life-style training, but I will save that for a different blog!)


1 comment:

Anneka said...

I can't find words to tell you how much I love your blog.

You give your birds what every parrot living in captivity should have, that is more freedom, no cage life, and most importantly lots of love.

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