torsdag 10 januari 2013

Habituation training

Much of the time with the young ravens is spent on general habituation training.  For example, they must be comfortable with being separated in smaller groups, later on also alone. As the ravens are highly social and enjoy interacting with us, the lower ranked birds are not allowed to interact with us if higher ranked birds are present. They must also be trained to come down into the experiment rooms, and as they don't particularly like confined spaces this can take some time.
Lillen is sitting in the sun outside the semi-dark experiment room. His eyes are set on the tasty frolic waiting for him. If he dares.
The ravens must also be habituated to new items, which later will be used in the experimenting. Crow birds are so called neophobic, which means that they are afraid of almost all new and unfamiliar things, and therefore must be habituated to them. Crow birds seem especially afraid of long items, so next week we'll re-introduce a camera tripod (as documentation is demanded when experimenting) to see if they remember it since last time.

The two siblings Siden and Juno
We also try to make the ravens feel comfortable coming down to the research cabin (which is primarily built for humans). If some bird for any reason should need to be examined or treated, we want to make the examination as smooth as possible. Using the cabin, we only need to open the window and take one bird inside. Then the bird can still see its fellow birds and hopefully the experience will not be particularly stressful to it.
The ravens like to sit on the open windows peek inside. The problem is that they also like to destroy things, which is evident on the wooden window where parts are already missing.

Always on the look out for a treat, Siden abandons the window to come down to me.

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