Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Greys and dinner

Here is more photographic proof of why Stella needs to stay in her cage whenever the stove is on. Yesterday, after everything had cooled down on the stove, Thomas let her out. She flew directly into the kitchen where Max and I were, and landed directly on this pan on the stove.

I have no idea why she thinks that pans are more appropriate perches than the three parrot stands or any of the other acceptable perches in the kitchen. After quickly taking this picture, I removed her, but it was yet another reminder of why we need to remain vigilant of keeping her locked up while cooking.For dinner, I made another recipe from my favorite cookbook, How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. The recipe was for beer-glazed black beans, but since I had the right amount of navy beans cooked and ready to go, I substituted them instead.

I took this picture towards the end of the cooking process. Another success for this cookbook (and for the cast-iron pan)!
I was at the stove, tending to the meal, when I looked over and saw that Max was helping herself to my partially-eaten muffin. She had already been given a small portion, but that was apparently not enough for her!When I had a few minutes in between stirring the beans, I'd stop by Max's stand for a review of some of her tricks. In this video, she's shaking my hand.

One of the great things about clicker training is that you only need the clicker while training the trick. Once the parrot knows what she's supposed to do, it's no longer necessary. And since Max loves showing off how smart she is, she'll perform tricks for praise. During our formal sessions, I still use food treats, but if I have a few seconds here or there, I'll ask her to do a few tricks, like here.

I haven't been teaching Max any new tricks lately; we've just been reviewing the ones she knows. I need to get my act together and figure out something else for her to learn. The obvious choice would be retrieve, where she learns to pick up an object and place it somewhere else. This is the base for so many tricks, like ring toss, basketball, etc.

I've tried teaching this in the past, but have been unsuccessful, and I get frustrated. Max picks up on that, and since training is supposed to be fun for both of us, I haven't pushed it. I'm hoping that by putting it out here on the blog, that will kick me into gear to work on retrieve again!


Beloved Parrot said...

I think Stella is asking you to teach her how to cook!

Mary said...

BP -- but if she's not careful, she's going to end up being the main dish :)

Of course I'm kidding! We're vegetarians :)