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Post by AmberMuffinz on Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:42 pm

I've been teaching Neelix recall training on and off since I've had him. At first I got him to simply hop onto my finger when I said "Return" by holding an almond sliver in such a way he would have to step up to my hand. As his confidence grew I went further and further away until I was across the room. Then I added in obstacles, going into the hallway so he couldn't see me, going into the bathroom, etc. He already flies to me if I get far away anyway, so teaching him was really simple.

He still has a ways to go as he will not pass the curtains in the hallway even if they are open all the way. He also gets spooked if I try to move the training upstairs.

That is one important thing to remember about recall training, do not just do it in one place. Of course starting out in a familiar place until your bird gains confidence is a good thing, but don't assume that just because s/he flies to you on command in your room all the time that it will be the same wherever you are. Being in an unfamiliar place can make your bird feel scared - so much so that they may not listen to your commands. It is best to expose your bird to all kinds of situations and places so that if the unthinkable happens, he will feel confident enough to fly back to you.

This is where training in several places comes in. If you take your bird out in all kinds of places (at first start out in different rooms, maybe a friends house, a school gym or a church with permission and locked doors) then he'll lose that initial fear of a new place. Or so that is the plan. When birds get out they tend to book it because they are scared. If you practice recall training in all kinds of places, there is a greater chance your bird will listen to you if he happens to get out.

Recall training is important for birds clipped and unclipped the same. But you will have the most success with unclipped birds as they can maneuver easier and have built up the skill of flying. If something ever happens, you have at least a bit more of a chance of retrieving them. I advise to anyone to teach recall. Training also helps you bond with your bird, so there are even more advantages!

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