Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Freedom the Bald Eagle's Training Journal - Entry #4



Here is our October update on Freedom’s training with a journal entry from Dan Hnilicka, Freedom's principal trainer.  (See past entries starting here.)

Part of our responsibility in the care and management of our winged education ambassadors is to keep their minds as healthy as their bodies.  One way to do this is to provide enrichment in how their food is presented.  This encourages natural behavior by engaging the birds’ minds, feet, and eyes, as well as making the activities of finding food and eating last longer.  The birds do need to be taught how to interact with their enrichment activities, however. 

In this video, Freedom was presented with his rat lunch, but it is inside a pumpkin, carved by our TRC volunteers!  Freedom recognizes his lunch, but not the object in which it is housed.  You can see how he is a little hesitant as he first approaches the pumpkin.  He is able to grab a piece of the rat, and then quickly moves to a safer location in his housing in which to eat it.  He is still curious, so he takes a moment to consider, but then approaches the pumpkin with more confidence.  He even eats one piece right there!

You can clearly see his process of learning how to interact with his enrichment in the video.  The photos also capture his “journey”. 




The last photo was taken the next morning.  Freedom did “disassemble” his pumpkin into tiny pieces! 

Note – the leather straps on Freedom’s ankles are part of his equipment, called bracelets and jesses.  As you can see, he has learned how to move very comfortably with them.  They are used with all of our education birds in their management. 

3 comments:

  1. Thanks Dan for the October update. Freedom sounds and looks like he is doing great. Love the progress reports.

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  2. This is wonderful Dan, and I also look foward to updates. How magical that this bird is now in your care and will have a good life.

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