(For the background on Freedom the bald eagle’s journey to becoming an education winged ambassador, click here.)
Freedom is making some important progress in his training. For the 150,000+ of you who have seen TRC at the public education offerings we do each year, you know that our winged ambassadors often appear on the glove of a trained handler. Many months of training goes on before this can happen. The birds must become comfortable standing on a glove, and with being physically close to their human handler. Trust has to be developed so the bird feels safe in all types of program situations.
As Freedom’s lead trainer, I am working daily with presenting Freedom pieces of his breakfast and lunch on my glove, so that he becomes comfortable with approaching and being close to me. He has to come to me for these bites, and cannot just take them and eat them elsewhere. Taking food and eating close to me, eventually staying on my glove, are the building blocks for trust and comfort.
|Freedom steps onto Dan's glove.|
|Freedom receives his tidbit. He has his wings and tail out for|
balance as he is learning how to stand on Dan's glove.