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kitana
12-30-2011, 04:23 PM
Yesterday I started to hood train my female kestrel. She is moulting heavily at the moment, with about 13 primaries gone and her whole tail has grown back in teh last 3 weeks, so she really wants to eat and is very motivated.

My plan was at first to desensitize her to the hood, first with classical conditionning (the hood appears at the same time as the food and goes away when the food is gone) then when I would see no more fear with operant conditionning (the hood appears, if you are not afraid and look at it food comes). The next step was to use the hood as a target and train her to put her head inside it, with operant conditionning alone, or a little bit of classical (you have to eat though the beak opening) if necessary.

Well this bird showed me that I had to revise my plans. Yesterday it took her 30 seconds of classical conditionning to stop caring about the hood, then about 3 minutes of operant conditionning later I could touch her with the hood. Today I did 2 minutes of work, I can touch her with the hood, she eats through the beak opening and has started to target it.

I'm not a very good clicker trainer, but I see that my first trainee (male Harris) was a difficult one, totally traumatized by the hood. This kestrel has had no trauma in her life aside from normal falconry training, is soooo curious and likes to experiment so I think it won't be long until I can hood her. Or so I wish!

I'll try to make some vids but my camera is awful...

Keith Denman
12-30-2011, 09:26 PM
I had a couple of my Kestrels I hooded but I never really used it so the training went south for the winter. Let me know how it works for you. I enjoyed training my Kestrels to fly back to my fist with game.

Tobey
12-04-2012, 08:41 AM
I know this is an old thread but just to add my two cents in case anyone else reads it, I was in the same place wanting to hood my kestrel. When I trapped my little k-bird, he came home with the hood on as his first exposure to it. After getting all his equipment on and inspected the hood came off and was not re-introduced for almost two months. The hood I had was too small and it took a while to get a bigger one as I didn't have a pressing need. But, as I was nearing hunting-readiness I really wanted to get him hood trained for the car rides.

I had tried hooding him a couple times during manning/training but convinced of the hood's incorrect fit, I quickly gave up and was certain a larger hood would be easier to work with. So I got the next size hood but to my dismay, he hated it just as much as the smaller one. Tried a couple days and then gave up. Not wanting to face my wife with a wasted expenditure, I tried again but used a similar method as Audrey mentioned with putting food in the hood. For a couple days (and luckily it happened to be raining so we couldn't fly anyway), I would put the tidbits in the hood and while holding the up-turned hood, he would finally reach in and get them. When I first introduced the hood to him, he would usually bate away as soon as he saw it approaching. After just two or three days (of about 4-5 tidbits each day from the hood), he no longer cared at all about the proximity of the hood. Now, it was just a matter of getting it on him.

At first, as I moved the hood to his head, he would lean farther and farther back until he either fell backwards off my glove or had to bate away to keep from falling. But basically it was a waiting game. I just kept trying and trying until I learned how to get it on him in a well-timed (i.e. lucky) move. After that, I just kept putting it on and taking it off a few times each day (no longer using the tidbit-inside-the-hood trick). From there, it has just been regular hooding to keep his sensitivity down to it.

He still has his moments and I have to be mindful of when I put it on (for example, if he has been in the mews and I bring him out into the sun, he wants nothing to do with it or if he is hungry and is expecting food, he generally tries to fight it). But overall, he has become very tolerant of it. We took a trip to Tennessee for Thanksgiving (which is about a 6-hour road trip) and he was hooded most of the trip to and from and he did really good.

When I had a red-tail she was hooded from the beginning and spent a lot of time in the hood at first so it was drastically different. There was no dance to get it on it was just part of the day. Not sure if that is a difference in attitude between a RT and a kestrel but from a manning/training perspective, it seemed easier when it was done right at the outset but I have certainly had luck both ways now.

Anyway, hope that helps someone.

REYNALDO
12-04-2012, 11:20 AM
I had hooding issue with my first two kestrels...my fault coz it was too big. With my bird now she hoods just fine. She'll take it fine but the braces are getting too smoothed out so it doesn't tighten up right. She can take it off. She is getting a little bit harder to hood lately coz I have been slacking hooding her. she is so calm and I don't feel the need for it to be on. I still do use it once in a while.

barbedraptor
01-08-2013, 04:32 PM
When shaping new behaviors the most important part that is often forgotten is to use the CR(signal bird within ONE second of good behavior). The titbit can be seconds later. Shaping operant equation is: When under these conditions, and if bird responds right, instant CR, and then reward. WHEN(specific conditions), IF(preforms good behavior),CR(in one second), THEN(reward). If a signal is more than one second from good behavior it could take hundreds of positive trials before correct behavior is learned. Signal under one second and you will see good behavior response in about 21(80% proficiency, Grice) positive trials. Good shaping and chaining

kitana
01-08-2013, 11:04 PM
When shaping new behaviors the most important part that is often forgotten is to use the CR(signal bird within ONE second of good behavior). The titbit can be seconds later. Shaping operant equation is: When under these conditions, and if bird responds right, instant CR, and then reward. WHEN(specific conditions), IF(preforms good behavior),CR(in one second), THEN(reward). If a signal is more than one second from good behavior it could take hundreds of positive trials before correct behavior is learned. Signal under one second and you will see good behavior response in about 21(80% proficiency, Grice) positive trials. Good shaping and chaining

Thanks for your insight, whoever you are, but yeah that's the way we train when using a CR... No question there.

And welcome on the forum!

kimmerar
01-09-2013, 01:56 AM
When shaping new behaviors the most important part that is often forgotten is to use the CR(signal bird within ONE second of good behavior). The titbit can be seconds later. Shaping operant equation is: When under these conditions, and if bird responds right, instant CR, and then reward. WHEN(specific conditions), IF(preforms good behavior),CR(in one second), THEN(reward). If a signal is more than one second from good behavior it could take hundreds of positive trials before correct behavior is learned. Signal under one second and you will see good behavior response in about 21(80% proficiency, Grice) positive trials. Good shaping and chaining

Good point whomever you are - I would like to add

Timing is everything...

Be clear and consistent on what you want the student to do - bridge (signal) at the right time.

Bouncing ping pong balls on a table is great practice for timing. Signal (bridge) exactly when the ping pong hits the table. You'll get many trials with one bounce and it's inconsistent so more realistic. Many old school clicker trainers used this technique to help with timing.

ATB

kathipearl
01-02-2015, 07:43 AM
Thanks for the replies - it seems that, once again, between my birds and me I am the slow one!

Thanks,(welc)

barbedraptor
01-12-2015, 03:28 PM
The beauty and power of positive reinforcement: Operate conditioning model: The hawk freely operates on her environment using her behaviors to get rewarded. Your hawk is actively experimenting with new behaviors that cause the signal(CR). She is literally seeking out the hood and putting it on herself. Teacher: You set the rules of good behavior that the hawk uses to get the CR reward. Set your rules of behavior with easily recognized or measured behaviors to facilitate the effectiveness of the instant CR. Remember to ignore all wrong or bad behavior, put away the hood and let her "recover" from that trial. I use shaping and chaining techniques for all my falconry training. I used to think that the Kings, Queens, and Emperors flights were the hardest to train. By using these techniques any falcon can be taught to mount or ring its quarry (houbara, crane, heron, crow, seagull, and skylark) with simple backyard training! Tomorrow I will post a very short hooding model. Jim Fustos

barbedraptor
01-13-2015, 03:50 PM
Training a hood-fearing hawk: Stop all other training goals and just concentrate on teaching good hooding behavior. Use about 3 training sessions each day with about 20 successful trials(CR, titbit) per session. Preparation: Pair the CR(I click my tongue on the roof of my mouth) with a titbit hidden under the gauntlet's thumb. First Trial: Start by exposing the hood at arms length(about 3 feet) away. If she sees the hood and stands still for 10 seconds, click, hide the hood and move your thumb to expose the titbit. Let the hawk "recover" for about 1 minute between all trials, successful and unsuccessful. Progressively Changing Objectives: When she accomplishes the objectives in about 50% of the trials, change the objectives for those good behaviors by bring the hood closer and closer to the hawk's head. Example: Good behavior is when the hawk stands still for 10 seconds when the hood is 3 feet away, 2 feet, 6 inches, 1 inch, 1 cm and under the beak. The objectives continually change to standing still with a steady head, closing the eyes and thrusting the beak forward when the hood is 1/4 on, 1/2 on, and completely on for 10 seconds. The final objective is a steady head with the braces closed for 1 minute. Generalize the good hooding behavior to include many different places and times when you need to hood her. Good hooding behavior is now habituated so no need to CR and titbit. Jim Fustos