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Old 11-17-2020, 03:08 PM
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Umbrella Cockatoo, Female, 03/09/1989 Hatch Date: Meisha
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Physical Fitness with a Flighted Companion

Curious who else involves their flighted companion in physical fitness.

I have four formats. Two of which Meisha accompanies me.

Calisthenics with Weight Lifting:
Meisha prefers to hang out with me when I do my workout. A complete set of 23 exercises takes an average of ninety minutes. The majority involve an extended strained position which I hold for twenty seconds. Pushups are the exception, holding the elevated and lowered position five seconds each.

I typically have a toy box out for her. She’s house broken, lets me know if she needs to return to her cage. She has a habit of flying, or jumping on to me during some exercises such as three point sit-ups. Performed on an elevated platform, I start with a backbend, hold for twenty seconds. I’m looking away in this position, which is when she usually flies or jumps to me, to get a reaction. It’s followed with a straight suspended position, hold twenty. And then move Meisha for the forced crunch, another twenty. When I work with weights, she has stood in front of me, looking up, watching me. Sounds rather, boring. She also spends time preening.

Speed-Walking:
I utilizing a bike route half a mile from my home. Meisha goes with me on speed-walks. The route is quite diversified with cyclist, runners, joggers, Rollerbladers, speed-walkers, dog walkers and stroller pushers. We have experienced a number of interesting interactions.

I started walking with her when she was a one-year old, flying her between my father and me. Wasn’t long before she discovered these natural play stations call trees. She does not have a value for time which created dilemmas. Once after failing to talk her down, I called out that I was leaving. Turned and walked away. She took flight, caught up to me. There’s been variations in the progress. The here and now, she does not fly on speed-walks.

I keep a fitness diary. The record to date with her for duration and distance uninterrupted with the exception of traffic lights at intersections was on May 2, 2020; seventeen miles in 5;11;35. Start temperature was 68°F ending with 86°. Wind speeds of 15 mph start, ending with 17. My personal record without her was on May 9, 2020; twenty-five miles in 6;38;54.

Prep includes loading up with safflower seeds, in front of her. I let her initiate the reward process. Chatting and activities for the payout. There are times where she clearly doesn’t want to go. At the mention of it she has flown back to her cage, retreating to the opposite side of the opened access. If I can’t bribe her with an ice cube or safflower seeds, I let her sit it out.

Speed-walks that include a sunset are rather noisy with her loud parrot calls. She is much quieter other times of the day and when we leave after sunset or with clouded sunsets. She goes noisy and she flaps her wings when start the return trek. She has leaned in the direction of a shorter route that we have previously taken.

Here are a few shots from this week:




64° with wind speeds up to 13 mph, yet here she is preening.




There is an idled crane on the shoreline, right.


Lunar crescent below Meisha’s beak. Unable to get a shot without power lines.


The fountain at night.


66° with 4 mph winds.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:44 PM
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Re: Physical Fitness with a Flighted Companion

Meisha is amazing! Very cool that she gets to be so involved. Mine don't get outside much, (we're in the frozen northeast) so they're a little intimidated by the big open space. Baxter, not as bad, since she only goes out in a travel cage. Tucker is harness trained, but not so interested in flying outside being confined by the lead. He loves flying in the house, and sometimes sits on or near me if I do some treadmill time. It's nice because he can take off to his cage, tree stand, or a window if he's not feeling it. That's about it though. I may have to try some of your indoor ideas though, and see what my guys do.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:15 AM
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Umbrella Cockatoo, Female, 03/09/1989 Hatch Date: Meisha
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Re: Physical Fitness with a Flighted Companion

I can appreciate the cold temps of the NE. The coldest recorded temp Meisha has experienced on a speed-walk is 59°F with sunlight and moderate winds. The warmest is 100° at sunset. She experiences all of the temp swings traveling to work with me. On cold days, I put her in my coat transitioning to and from a vehicle.

We’ve been caught in the rain a few times on the speed-walks. She loathes the rain. Have retreated to the covered entrance of a school to wait out for a break. There are three schools on the bike route.

We’ll walk with friends at times, the speed part of a speed-walk tends to fall off.

I have done a few speed-walks in the rain on endurance workouts. Typically use the treadmill on rainy days. Meisha usually hangs out close by.

One of my clients has a blue and gold, fully feathered that doesn’t fly at all.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:27 AM
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Re: Physical Fitness with a Flighted Companion

Meisha is living her best life!
A large parrot like her, isn't likely to be attacked by hawks.
For us with little ones, this isn't possible , to many aerial predators.

Very beautiful pictures!
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Old 11-19-2020, 12:04 PM
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Re: Physical Fitness with a Flighted Companion

Yep take mines for walk and runs all the time. Baby my female like to fly instead. My male u2 cooper rather sit on my shoulder and loves to lean as to point the direction he wants to go. Yes my birds know directions even better the I do and short cuts. It took my female twice to learn to take shortcuts.

Hawks is not a problem as they fly back and warn me when they see one of course squawking directly in my ear. They are trained outdoors and use to loud noises, predators and etc. Cold weather not a issue as a umbrella cockatoo can handle even 40 degree temperatures. If it to cold put in coat to warm them up. Hot weather can be a problem but mist them when they get overheated and give them water. They put wings out and start panting beak open when to hot. They need shaded area and a water bottle to mist them to keep cool. I take them pretty much everywhere with me, so they are also use to people and don’t bite, or attack, but do keep them on harness while in stores just in case.
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Last edited by ParrotGenie; 11-19-2020 at 12:07 PM.
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