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Member of the Month August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been a traumatic time for GreenBird. Losing two of his companions in a week has left him a little lost. Then I went and moved his cage from the dining room into the tv room. I think it has all been a bit much and his confidence has taken a hit.

He is still willing to set up onto my finger but won't stay there unless I have millet. He also isn't at all keen on leaving his cage, choosing to pop out for a nibble on the enticements and then pop back in again. He did go for a quick fly around today so with time and patience I am sure he will be a confident happy budgie again.

I have also just read Wiki's clicker journal. I have done clicker training with my dogs so I am keen to try it with GreenBird too. Stay posted. :D
 

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Wing Commander
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Yay! Welcome to the clicker clique :)

If your dog clicker is too loud and GreenBird doesn't like the sound, just muffle it in your hand or your pocket. Everything you did for the dog applies to GreenBird.. You'll just have to be a lot faster :D
 

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Personally I am not against clickers for those who need them but
with one proviso. Never use one in the presence of any bird with the
capacity to mimic. For reasons I'm sure I don't need to go into....B.J.
 

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Member of the Month August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yay! Welcome to the clicker clique :)

If your dog clicker is too loud and GreenBird doesn't like the sound, just muffle it in your hand or your pocket. Everything you did for the dog applies to GreenBird.. You'll just have to be a lot faster :D
Thanks for the advice. I know what you mean by the need for speed. Getting your timing right for the click is half the battle.
 

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Member of the Month August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
GreenBird has been doing awesome.

He has gone back to spending time on the play perch by my computer desk. Step ups are now quite solid, and today he flew to my finger, when Master 2 got a bit too loud.

He is also accepting millet from Master 2, which I think is win/win for both of them. Master 2 got a finger step up once but found it too "prickly" so is now happy to just give millet.

Have also found my clicker, and a couple of bird clicker sites, so as of tomorrow there are no more excuses :D

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Bird-Click/
http://www.avitrain.com/
 

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Member of the Month August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow what a difference a day makes. GreenBirds humble abode had a major revamp as part of it's top-to-bottom bi-monthly clean. All dowel and rope perches were removed and replaced with natural branches with multiple offshoots. I will post a pic as soon as I get batteries for my camera.

When he returned to his cage it was like he had entered the human equivalent of a 5-star hotel. Obviously impressed with the improvements. Then the following day when we returned from our morning activities he was itching to get out of his cage. He has never done this before. After securing the room I let him out and he went to his new and improved play gym. I will post pics of that too.

He was flying around, following me, even landed on my head, when I didn't hold my hand up for him to land on. It was wonderful! Master 2 thought it was the best thing ever :D

Finally I did some clicker training with him. Simple click & treat recognition. He picked it up quite quickly. After about 20 clicks he started looking for the treat when he heard the click.

Must say it is nothing like clicker training a dog! GreenBird says "I work for treats only"

One very happy mummy!
 

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Wing Commander
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Fantastic job! I've never clicker trained a dog, so I can't really compare, but the method and approach is the same - it's just that the relationship with food is different. I've never met a dog that would refuse food, but a bird will. Training before a meal makes a huge difference, it's harder to motivate on a full crop.

Your bird will learn how to learn, they're amazingly bright and intuitive!

Oh: something I forgot. With behaviour like step up, recall etc. you're aiming to have that behaviour become self reinforcing - so as the bird starts to understand that step up leads to good things, you can start to fade the clicker and rewards. One of the mistakes we often unintentionally make is negatively reinforcing when we don't follow a behaviour with a "real life" reward and wind up deconditioning our buddy. So a step up to return to cage needs to be backed up with a treat, and step up sholdn't always lead to a return to cage.

Hope that's useful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I do have a dog that isn't really food orientated, especially when we are training much more exciting stuff like dog agility work.

The main difference is that my dogs also have an underlying desire to please me, GreenBird on the other hand couldn't care less if I was pleased or not. It presents new challenges, nothing insurmountable just new. Like you said, I need to be aware of when I am training, and for how long. My dogs will go until they drop, GreenBird goes until he can't be bothered any more :)
 

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Member of the Month August 2013
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am very happy with GreenBird. I don't think he will ever be one of those birds that does lots of tricks, but he is doing some nice CT work. He will fly to my finger and run up and down my arm. I wish my DH got home earlier so I could video it. I think it is cute.

He is still purely food motivated though, no food, no offering. He also only comes to me for short visits. I think he prefers budgies to humans, but that is okay, YellowBird will be joining him soon :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My goodness GreenBird is a lesson in patience. YellowBird has moved in and as seems to be the norm after change, GreenBird has gone backwards. He hasn't been out of his cage at all this morning, and did a grudging step-up but as soon as I moved my hand he flew off again.

Oh well, at least I have been here before and after a couple of days he settles down again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All training for GreenBird is on hold until he finishes moulting. He is very grumpy and wants to stay in his cage. So I give him the opportunity to come out, but am just letting him be. Hopefully he will be back to his normal self soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yippee, GreenBird came out of his cage for the first time in days. Hopefully this means he is returning to his old self :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
GreenBird seems to be over the worst of his molt now. He continued to come out of the cage and enjoy a fly around. Then in the past couple of week I resumed training, but in this case en masse. Wow! The change in GreenBird has been amazing. He will now happily fly to my shoulder to investigate what I am doing and will follow me around the house. He is once again my brave boy :woot:

I thought about doing more tricks with him, but I think we will leave that for now. I just enjoy having them all flying about and coming to suss me out when it suits them.
 
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