When we consult on flight training parrots, we always teach ALL skills! This includes but isn't limited to:
- Ascending (building muscle)
- Descending (building accuracy and putting on brakes)
- Turning corners (mastering maneuvers)
- Hide and seek (learning to find YOU, not the other way around!)
- Recall (coming on the first call)
- Mastering your space (learning to fly from all directions)
If you want a detailed flight training course, we include one as part of our Total Transformation Series.
We show how we flight trained our three macaws from start to finish, explaining each detail from how, and why.
Let's tackle some important parts of the process of flight training:
It's important your bird learns to come when you call and not whenever it wants. The more you call/cue, the less responsive a bird will be. Encouragement and cueing are different. For example:
The cue: "Come!"
Encouragement: "You can do it! Yeah, girl! Do you wanna fly? You got it!"
You can use encouragement, you don't want to keep repeating the cue, though. You want your bird to learn to come on the 1-2 time you call. This happens by reading your bird's body language and learning the signs of when it is about to fly. It's better to call once your bird is in the air, then it is 5 minutes before your bird takes off. If you see your bird is about to take flight, give the cue!
Teaching a bird straight A to B flights are first, but then you want to advance to teaching your bird to round corners. This starts by standing in the corner where you are still in view, and slowly going out of sight (peek around so your bird knows you're there, then barely back out of view when your bird comes for you.)
This teaches confidence and is a segway to learning hide and seek.
Mastering The Space
You can develop a false sense of confidence by repeating flying your bird in one direction, the same all the time.
But your bird needs to learn to MASTER its space by being able to fly from all directions, short and far, up and down, AND be able to control its flight patterns and think in the air so it can look for you and find you vs assume it knows where you are always going to be and end up crashing if you aren't there.
Don't depend solely on your bond with your bird
It freaks me out when people are flying their birds solely relying on bond alone (only when doing so outdoors.) but you can get a better behavior, a faster response, etc. when you use a reinforcer like treats.
Remember, treats are NOT a part of your bird's daily diet.
How to use a reset
This is used when your bird is hesitant or ignoring you when you give the cue to fly.
An important note...
Obviously this post isn't well-rounded in the fact that I am not showing every single skill mastered in detail - our course shows these skills being LEARNED and MASTERED by birds learning it for the VERY FIRST TIME. This is so important! You need to see how different birds respond to training, and how to work through the road blocks that naturally come with that. Also, when birds are learning something for the first time you get to experience their successes and failures - both are EQUALLY important.