In my last post, I wrote about Mika’s progress learning how to fly. It’s been two weeks and I haven’t repeated the exercise of luring her with her favorite junk food, but she has undertaken a couple more attempts at landing somewhere specific… with mixed results. Just goes to show that a parrot learning to fly with purpose isn’t just about having that “ah-ha” moment, but that practice makes perfect (or at least: practice makes better).

On two occasions I watched her try to land on my desk, but she had way too much momentum (and height); as a consequence, she didn’t get anywhere near the desk but simply flew over it, made a big loop and landed back on top of her cage. At least she always has her back-up plan (e.g., if she doesn’t get to where she intended to go, she always feels comfortable enough to fly back to her cage now. That’s good!)

Once she tried to fly to the back of the couch (something she did successfully three times in a row a week ago), but instead she landed on a lamp. It was a good landing, except that landing on lamps is a bad idea (had it been turned on, it would’ve been hot!) A second time, she landed on the flap of a cardboard box (a few inches shy of the back of the couch) — not sure if that’s where she intended to land, but cardboard box flaps are not very stable, so they don’t make good landing spots. These are things that she just needs to learn with experience, but I want to make sure that she doesn’t have too many experiences landing on unstable/slippery/uncomfortable surfaces as she’s starting to learn because I worry about these experiences undermining her confidence at this stage in the game.

But much like the parent of a toddler learning to walk, I think I just need to let go a bit and let her do this.