Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Video 3: Charging the clicker with Blondie

Blondie seems to be the bird who gets it. She's curious and not afraid to check things out and experiment with her surroundings. I decide to start charging the clicker with her to teach her what the sound means - but there is a hang-up. Blondie gets very upset whenever she is separated from Brita. She starts to call for her friend and ignore the food. In order to get Blondie to focus, Brita has to be with her. I can only work with one bird at a time, however. For the time being I focus on Blondie, but I know I will have to work on separating them in the future. If I only end up training one quail, then that's fine too.

To charge the clicker, I hold the cup out of sight - either behind my hand or under the table - then I click and put the food right in front of Blondie's face where she can see it and be tempted to eat. At first I let her have a few pecks at the food since she misses the morsels with the first couple pecks. My next step will be getting her to work faster. She was completely full/bored by 6 minutes into the session, so I will aim to keep my sessions shorter - other trainers have suggested 2 minutes so that's what I'm going to go with.

Brita has a little slip when I move her away from the camera lens and it seems to startle her. Her body language suggests to me that she is a little anxious about her surroundings. Could there be something up above that's freaking her out a little? The sound of the wind rattling the window cover seems to irk her a little. I might need to work with Brita on her own a bit to get her more comfortable being out on the desk, and get both birds more comfortable being on their own.

I am using finely chopped hard boiled egg with some of their regular crumbles as a food reward.

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