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Tinkerbell -love of a flying CAG in Taiwan


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Hi friends,



For those who do not know of Tinkerbell or me, first

take a look at these collection of photographs.







Each refresh of URL below will show more photos taken at random



A love story of me and my Tinkerbell, a free flying Congo African Grey parrot CAG , as we roamed about the mountains and forests and cities of Taiwan. She loves to go riding with me on the motorbike as she sit on a perch on the handle bar.


Full details of that and more are in that webpage, together with URLs to the relevant folders of hundreds of photos. Without those photos, what I wrote will never be believed


You can live with a flying parrot at home.

That is the legacy that Tinkerbell will like you to have




each refresh of URL below show more photos


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Those are beautiful pictures, Shanlung - thank you for sharing.


I just wrote a post on another topic how I thought it seems scary to me to let a bird fly loose since I've heard that whenever they get startled of something they can just take off (in their distress) - isn't that true?

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When you are in Tinkerbell webpage, clicking on any of those photos will bring you the enlarged version.


Greys are not the best candidates to be taken outdoors. They are more inclined to 'spook' than others. Their hearing and their eyesight are so superior to ours that its not likely that we know the cause of their spooking.


Perhaps a couple of old letters I wrote on this can shed more light.

Look into "Playing music to ducks" in




See 'Spooking zones'



Taking a parrot outdoors to fly, on harness or not in harness, is a serious undertaking that you must be clear minded about. An immense amount of training and bonding and understanding can only be the foundation of that.




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There should not be any kind of timetable in your mind. There is no race. Fixing even a kind of time frame in your mind will be contraproductive. You might get nervous and frustrated if your self imposed dateline(s) neared. As greys are empaths, your feelings will be felt by them making them more nervous than they are. Your relationship with him will suffer.


Just be happy with him, treating him/her with the respect and dignity that you give to fellow sentients. You gain trust when you give trust.


My own path had been so accidental and full of quirks .

I made nightmarish mistakes. I cannot and should not use that path I taken as a path for even myself , and less of all, advice as a path you should faithfully take. Such as repeat of the nightmare when I was dragged screaming into the Overnighter's Club. I wish that not on my worse enemy, and last of all , you.


You and your bird are uniquely the two of you. CAG lives to 70-80 years, in effect, the rest of your lives. Timetable will be meaningless when you both have the rest of eternality ahead of you.


Perhaps you look at a nutshell of how I did that with Tinkerbell. And see where I had done wrong and learn from that.


'Harness for flighted parrots - To Nick and folks'



Then you might have some basis to decide what your path should be.


Do let me know


Warmest regards


Shanlung<br><br>Post edited by: shanlung, at: 2007/02/02 12:40

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I got the message: patience....


Thank you for your very interesting and educational story, Shanlung - I appreciate it very much.

(and, Tinkerbell is just gorgeous!)

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  • 3 months later...




I like to introduce you to another of my companion. He is a white rumped shama called Yingshiong, chinese

for heroic warrior. He is a gift from Tinkerbell.











Shamas are classified as 'aviary birds'. They are among the most timid of birds but

they are also the best song birds in the world.


Yingshiong was borned wild and was old when he came to me.

You can see from the daily blog I kept that he flew to me on recall within a month.

Breeders of 4 decades of experience with shamas told me my photos are the first

ever of a male shama landing on a human. You can see how I adapted what I wrote in Tinkerbll

Legacy to work with a shama instead. Why a shama? I just could not get another parrot into

my life even then.



In a few days, I have to say goodbye to him which will be apparent in another letter I will

attached here later. That will still be painful even if not of the magnitude when I first

had to say goodbye to Tinkerbell.


The only way to prevent that is to close our hearts entirely. Then there will be no pain, and

no beauty or magic either.


The leaving of Tink is more than a throbbing hurt. Much of my life still evolve

around her. When I went to work in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, I was hoping that would lead me

back to Taiwan. Then I realised that was not going to be the case and my wife understandably refused

to live with me in Saudi Arabia. I could not fly back to Taiwan to see Tink and ignore seeing my wife.


Thats why I am now in Brisbane down under. Where my wife is willing to come and live with me here. We can both

visit Taiwan together as Tink is her daughter too.


Only recently we decide my wife is to join me here even though I been here since Nov 06. If it was just the two

of us, she would have been here with me from the beginning. But we have Yingshiong to consider about. If

both of us were to leave Singapore together, that will be the end of chapter with Yingshiong. And he did

wiggle into our hearts much as we tried not to let that happen.


As Jayne mentioned she like to see Tinkerbell Interlude, here is a letter which is a good precursor to that episode.

And also partly explain why I am in Brisbane.


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaa





Tinkerbell Interlude photoset and videos, and start of next chapter of life





Hello to all my friends around the world,


The last couple of days were spend in collating the photographs and videos

taken during the Tinkerbell Interlude, a period from 1st November to 8th November

when I was in Taiwan to be with Tinkerbell again.


I sort the photos to cover the day by day with Tinkerbell.


The Livejournal entries now have the appropriate photos in them that

better illustrate some of the events I wrote about. The videos are

also embedded in the Livejournal entries.


You find that in





Tinkerbell flights were very weak at the beginning. Yu treated her

too well, taking delicacies and tea to her. As a result, she hardly

had to fly. She never made recall flights to him for a long time. That

led to him not trying to let her fly. That was a sad spiralling circle.

It took me just one morning to put right in my "Retraining the trainer".


Tinkerbell needed to be reminded of the joy of flying, and given the chance

to fly again. In the videos at Chiayi Park Confucious temple, you can hear

clearly the heavy landings she made on me, none of those feather soft landings

of before.


It was only a week later, that I trusted her with longer flights at BanTienYen.

Look at the video where she flew at me, circled off with the leash screaming from

the reel and her breaking off and returning to me.


The photosets can be seen here.



You can also see the videos here.



You should see that from bottom up starting from Confucious temple flights.





Why I went to Taiwan for this short holiday can be told now.

When I left Saudi Arabia, I went to Brisbane Australia and accepted a 4 year contract

to work and live there. I came back to Singapore to do the paper work to get that work

visa for Australia. I knew my time frame will be short. So I had to see Tinkerbell

when I could.


It was lucky that I did so. Yesterday, I received news that the visas for me and my wife Joy

were granted. I hoped to start there early next year. That company then wanted me over asap.

We compromised in that I fly over to Brisbane on 26th November starting 27th November 2006.


My wife will remain in Singapore for a few months until the work and company find us mutually agreeable

for that long term. Then she will fly over and live with me in Australia.


This started when I was working and living in Riyadh , Saudi Arabia. Then I read this BBC article

in June about the Russian tundra melting. We knew that would happen. But I thought that to be a consequence

of global warming. That article then described the CO2 and methane trapped in the past to be coming

out now. So instead of the permafrost melting as a consequence, that might well be a timebomb giving

us even less time in a world and society that we know.


I rather enjoy life with my wife NOW, than to make lots of money in Riyadh for a future rather uncertain.

There were other reasons, but my preference is to enjoy the time that is left to me and my wife. Working and living

in Brisbane Australia will be much better than in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia even if the pay is less.


Perhaps, what I wrote ten years back might make interesting reading for you.



I will not argue if you think differently. In fact, I hoped you are right, for the sake of my son

and your children, that we will have a lot more time in the future. If true leaders are found and all

of us ready and able to accept the drastic changes in our current lifestyles. Rather difficult isnt it?


That bring up what will happen to Yingshiong should and when my wife joins me in Australia.

You note that I deliberately had to fly back to Singapore from Taiwan as my wife flew to UK

to see her nieces.


By the way, Yingshiong is in the PC room with me. He flew in to join me as I wrote this rather long letter.

If I ignored him too long, he would hover over my head. So I do a few recalls for the chance to treat him

with millis.


I love YS too, even if not at the level at the soul as that with Tinkerbell.


Should me and my wife cannot look after YS, I will not allow YS to be back into a round cage.

I had discussed with Taufik with the various possibilities and he agreed with me.


Yingshiong might go into the Jurong Bird Park in the waterfall aviary. This is the largest walk-in aviary

in the world. I have had discussions with the highest level and given an in-principle approval for Yingshiong.

There are 4 resident male shamas there and one or two females among lots of other birds. It will

be a life and death struggle for Yingshiong. But I think YS is a prime 4-5 years old. I believe he will fight

and be dominant or at least carve out a space for himself.


So if anyone go there in future, you might be hearing Yingshiong singing up in the canopy of trees.


My friend BK offered Yingshiong a permanent place in his huge aviary, and beautiful shama wife for him too.

But no one other than me , BK, and a few of his friends will ever hear Yingshiong again. He will be safe there,

pampered for the rest of his life. BK aviary seen here http://shanlung.livejournal.com/64879.html


Another option will be to release Yingshiong back into the appropriate forest. This might have the risk that he

is unable to integrate back into nature or capture by other people to be kept in a cage again.


It is yet too early to decide now.



Warmest regards





aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaa



It was decided that my wife will be joining me in Brisbane in early June and I need to see to the future of Yingshiong.


Flash over to today and my latest entry in my livejournal.


I just landed into Singapore early this morning and back into apartment.

After hugging my wife who was about to leave for her office, Ivan greeted me with meows and

figure of eight curls around my ankle.


Yingshiong looked at me from his flight room and flew about with excitment. Sorrowfully, I incarcerate Ivan for YS to fly out. YS did not fly to me yet on cue as expected.


This trip is made specially to walk Yingshiong into his next chapter. I first spend a few days with him and on Monday, he will be taken to Jurong Bird Park. Then in the evening, I fly back to Brisbane.


I waffled and flip flop between JBP or my friend huge aviary.


Between the beauty of living in dangerous world against the cocoon of a safe aviary of my friend


For him to engage in life/death struggle with all the magic or a safe existence


He will be living in the largest aviary in the world, the JBP waterfall aviary


I will be leaving apartment soon to buy YS succulent crickets. I will spoil him rotten over the next few days.





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Guest Monique

Hi shanlung!!! It is nice to meet you! We have a flighted TAG that we are teaching to fly to us on command. Trial and Error I will say!! As well as teaching to get used to an Aviator Harness. He is a baby (almost 4 months right now).


How fast could you go on your motorbike with Tink?


I have to come back when more time and read through your whole story/information.

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Nice story and pictures, Shanlung. Thank you for sharing this. What is the spanwidth of the wings of Tinkerbell? I ask this because in the pictures it seems really large to me.

I read the questions asked on flickr and saw she really like you speeding on your bike B)

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When I ride slowly and like Tink to be up on bar, she rather stayed below. And when I ride fast and did not want her there, she would get right up. She took perverse joy in frustrating and frightening me. I should wring her neck!




I have no idea of her spanwidth. It seems very large in all her flighted photos, even those taken at home.



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  • 2 months later...


From mountain top where we can see forever





And valleys dotted with hotsprings in between the mountains





And village in Southen Taiwan, Kenting where she flew to me in force 7 crosswinds




And to seashores such as this in Green Island


Hi folks,


I am sorry to have been away from here so long.


A few other things had happen since I was last here.



When I came to Australia in Nov 06, I prepared plans

for Yingshiong future if my wife joined me here


It was another painful goodbye that I had to say to Yingshiong. That was on the 7 May 07. I flew back to Singapore to be with him, and then to hand him over to the Jurong Bird Park. If you go there, please ask to see Yingshiong at the South East Asia Aviary and listen to him singing there.

Leaving Yingshiong was painful even if not of the magnitude when I first had to say goodbye to Tinkerbell. I was lucky in that I flew back to Brisbane on that same evening. My wife was left in Singapore for a few weeks to be surrounded by YS things and the silence in the apartment.


The only way to prevent that is to close our hearts entirely. Then there will be no pain, and no beauty or magic either.


You can read those last few days with Yingshiong in here. (warning, not happy reading)



The leaving of Tink is more than a throbbing hurt. Much of my life still evolve

around her. When I went to work in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, I was hoping that would lead me back to Taiwan. Then I realised that was not going to be the case and my wife understandably refused to live with me in Saudi Arabia. I could not fly back to Taiwan to see Tink and ignore seeing my wife.


Thats why I am now in Brisbane down under. Where my wife is willing to come and live with me here. We can both

visit Taiwan together as Tink is her daughter too.


My wife is here for about 2 month already. We just shifted out a couple weeks ago from my old flat to another with a balcony at least where I can interact with birds and beasts.


After YS, we decided we cannot cope with another farewell.

I promised my wife the only birdies that get into the apartment will be grilled, fried or curried.


I hope to make friends with the lorikeets , or pied magpies or cockatos or anything else outside in the balcony. They first might be attracted by food I place out for them. Then perhaps one might chose to be my companion and bonded with clicker training with me.


Hopefully, future partings with the wild birds might not be so traumatic on us.


But so far, only crows and bush turkeys came to enjoy the food. A couple of currowongs would eat from my hands. Evenings will have bush tail possums dining from the fruits and cooked sweet potatoes. Hopefully in time, sugar gliders will dine with them as well.


I also found some other photos on YS in my wife laptop.


Three are below. I hope you enjoy them. More are in http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/








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  • 4 months later...

An update.


Come 20 Dec 07, me and my wife will fly off to Taiwan

to be with sweet Tink again to mid Jan.


I will blog that daily into my Livejournal.


With the last farewell to Yingshiong, me and my wife

decided its just too

agonising to have to say goodbyes to creatures.


No birds will get inside house unless it is fried,

curried or roasted. Only when we are certain we

stay on for a few years (no such thing as forever in

our planet as of now), will we get a furry or

feathered companion to live with.


But wild beasties do befriend us.



At first, only crows and bush turkey came regularly

for the food I set for birds. The earlier flock of

crows that I disliked swarming about the food dishes

resolved itself to a single crow that condescend to

patronising us. I do like this particular crow that

you can see in video later.


We called the crow Princess Mononoke



And if you have not seen above, do yourself a BIG

favour and see that movie.


PM was given that name because she did this sound of

one of the Kodamas (forest spirits) in that movie. We

hung stuff in boxes that needed to be pull up feet

over beak like Tinkerbell pulling up target stick on

chain. PM did that after a few minutes and was the

only crow here that did that. PM is still painfully

shy and extremely wary, but less so of my wife. But

then, I had to leave for office too early in morning.

Placing food for PM to pull up (video in above) became


a ritual for us.


If I have more time later on, I will go into formal

clicker training with wild creatures and see if that

will be the bridge into deeper relationships with them


to go beyond a bribe provider.


Rainbow Lorikeets still fly about the trees across the


road. I have yet to prepare the special food required

for them to try to entice them to us.


Two butcher birds that I mistakenly called currawongs

are regular friends. One friendly and the other still

very shy. The friendly one will fly through the open

door to sing to me to announce his presence and will

take mince from my hand. The shy one refused to take

from my hand.


A pied magpie is another regular caller on my

verandah, a most beautiful and elegant creature. He

apparently talk as captured by my wife in her videos





Photos of birds coming to my feeders







Bush tail possums came for their nightly feedings, a

one eyed possum and what I call 'mother and child'. I

was pleased that the possums will spook and run

away when other people walked on the foot path 30-40

feet away. Yet the possums accepted us sitting a foot

away from them. And just a few weeks ago, the child

allowed me to stroke his back as well. His mom got

used to me a while back already.


Photos of bushtail possums at my veranda and allowing

me stroking them




Video of me stroking the possums are also in above.


My wife keep a blog and update that a lot more

regularly than I ever did that perhaps you might like

to read as well. If you think you are a bad learner

driver, you have not known my wife yet. I think

driving instructors might even pay my wife not to

engage them as driving instructor. After all, I am

willing to continue to pay them to minimise stress on

myself in teaching her how to drive. She is a lot

better with birds and creatures than she is behind the








Warmest regards



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  • 2 weeks later...

Merry Christmas from Tinkerbell, Shanlung and Joy from



Total healing and final closure had been acheived by

all of us.



Blogging been on in Livejournal.



Videos of us being uploaded and seen in



Warmest regards




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  • 1 month later...

Thank you.


I thought I consolidate into here.

Just in case people coming into this thread think

that there are no risks in what I have done.


And in a way, how the pain can be like and how recovery is done.



The Agony



and the Ecstasy

Tink is back with Yu family again



and the details of that rescue


Tinkerbell - Rescue at Bantienyen




Warmest regards




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Well I just got out about three years of pent up tears reading through that blog! I at times had to stop reading as I couldn't see the words anymore. Wow. I can't imagine going through that, but I also can't imagine the sheer joy of being able to share the outdoors in such a way with your parrot.


I am so happy that Tinkerbell was found.



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