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davids
08-31-2015, 07:58 AM
Can I ask the more experienced members who have used OP methods,
is it more effective to cure a screamer by getting the bird to scream on a cue and then just reduce the amount of cues to the bird or
try to reward quiet behaviour and increase the duration of the bird being quiet?

David

HGlider
08-31-2015, 01:49 PM
I am not sure this will help. But it seems you are trying to cure the symptoms and not the reason they scream. "Food" I have an imprinted male Harris Hawk in his fourth season. And he hasn't screamed in years. The first few months were pure hell though. For Diablo all it took was hunt, hunt and more hunting. Once he was consistent hunting he just up and shut up. He still talks a lot as I think all HH are prone to do. But it more of a grumble under their breath and definitely not a scream. I have to be paying attention to even notice he's talking. But then again Diablo is a weird bird so no guarantees. First months I had to tell my neighbor that he would grow out of the screaming after he started hunting. Boy I lucked out on that one.

Tom Smith
08-31-2015, 04:37 PM
I am not sure this will help. But it seems you are trying to cure the symptoms and not the reason they scream. "Food" I have an imprinted male Harris Hawk in his fourth season. And he hasn't screamed in years. The first few months were pure hell though. For Diablo all it took was hunt, hunt and more hunting. Once he was consistent hunting he just up and shut up. He still talks a lot as I think all HH are prone to do. But it more of a grumble under their breath and definitely not a scream. I have to be paying attention to even notice he's talking. But then again Diablo is a weird bird so no guarantees. First months I had to tell my neighbor that he would grow out of the screaming after he started hunting. Boy I lucked out on that one.

it is not luck in my opinion, a hawk that is giving it's full attention to hunting is in that zone and it will not scream as long as it is seeking prey. They do grow out of screaming provided they become hunters just like in the wild. When they are self actualized as they say they don't scream. Screaming is a proclamation of dependence, tid bit almost any hawk for a few days and make it dependent on you for food and it most likely will begin screaming. In pair bonding in wild adult hawks, often one of the adults will declare it is willing to become dependent and announce it by sounding some hunger screams. Signaling a desire to be presented food and signaling a willingness to copulate. IMHO

goshawkr
08-31-2015, 04:41 PM
Can I ask the more experienced members who have used OP methods,
is it more effective to cure a screamer by getting the bird to scream on a cue and then just reduce the amount of cues to the bird or
try to reward quiet behaviour and increase the duration of the bird being quiet?

David

The real trick with extinguishing screaming is that it is a self-reinforcing behavior. The instincts to scream are just so deeply wired into the software that is a raptor's brain that they get a rush of some kind just from doing it.

Its a real tough behavior to train out. But before I blabber on and cause mass boredom, the direct answer to your question is that the more effective way is to reward quiet behavior.

A good friend of mine whos is an absolute wizard at operant conditioning raised a batch of imprint gyrfalcons for a friend, and one of the goals was that they not be screamers. He trained them all to scream while he had his hands over his head like a conductor waiting for the orchestra to be ready. He and his family got such a laugh out of their choir of falcons that they cue was given quite frequently. They only got fed if they screamed on cue, and they never got the cue unless they had been silent for several minutes before. A fun post script to that story is that about 10 years later he was talking to a friend and they mentioned that his absolutely silent gyrfalcon raised the roof with screaming when he changed the lightbulb in its chamber - turns out it was one of these falcons.

I have tried a few times to put screaming on cue with imprint goshawks. I have always succeeded at that, and it really comes in handy. You don't need telemetry very often if you your hawk will call back when you call it. However, the hawks I have tried this with also turn into full time screamers. I haven't had much success with getting them to be silent when the cue is not given. This is pretty common with behaviors like this that self reinforce - very easy to encourage it and get it on cue, but very difficult to discourage.

I have toyed around with the rewarding silence through OC, although I have never gotten serious enough about that to really be effective. I have noticed improvements. Its a bit tough though, because as soon as the CR is given, the hawk gets keyed up that food is coming and frequently screams. Its really tough to overcome that.

davids
09-01-2015, 05:32 AM
Thanks for your replies.

I must admit she doesn't scream continually, but when she does it is a right pain.
I often wondered if a period of extended hack would help reduce screaming.

David

nebli
09-01-2015, 06:24 AM
it is not luck in my opinion, a hawk that is giving it's full attention to hunting is in that zone and it will not scream as long as it is seeking prey. They do grow out of screaming provided they become hunters just like in the wild. When they are self actualized as they say they don't scream. Screaming is a proclamation of dependence, tid bit almost any hawk for a few days and make it dependent on you for food and it most likely will begin screaming. In pair bonding in wild adult hawks, often one of the adults will declare it is willing to become dependent and announce it by sounding some hunger screams. Signaling a desire to be presented food and signaling a willingness to copulate. IMHO

just spot on .
so it is just creating the right conditions, that is starting to hunt as soon as possible. feed on prey as much as possible, avoid bringing food other than on game or baggie caught , the thing will be for the hawk to see hunting as THE main source of feeding and oneself as just a casual provider

Rise25
09-01-2015, 12:18 PM
In my experience, screaming tends to develop around a feeding routine and the expectation of food. This seems like an obvious statement, but I have noticed (and I am guessing your case is similar) that that bird's typically only scream in specific circumstances surrounding the time and place they are fed. For example, a bird screams in the mew when you walk out the back door because those are the events leading up to food being given to her (bird being in mew and you walking out the door). Hunting reduces this because she is in a new environment and circumstances not typically associated with food being given to her.

Screaming develops when the same circumstances or events leading up to feeding time are repeated several times, establishing a pattern. In order to stop screaming, you need to break the pattern, but it will take some time. Hunting breaks up the pattern (usually of being fed during the moult) and usually reduces (or eliminates) screaming. You can also do this by spending more time around the hawk without feeding her, or change how she gets fed. For example, take her out and let her exercise, then produce the lure and let her feed from it rather than feeding at home.

gyrhybrid
09-01-2015, 12:38 PM
David,

I have a technique used for years and reduces screaming as soon as two weeks.
Assuming the bird is hunted about three or four days a week, that helps,....however the off days when the bird needs to be fed is the difference. Since the bird is already trained, hunted, lure trained,...the off day feeding at home is changed. Each off day, place the daily food rations somewhere in the backyard and let the bird search and wonder about the location. Hence, the birds focus is similar to being in the field looking for prey, but in this situation your birds is searching looking for food at a different location, and not focusing on food directly from the trainer. And never let the bird see you place the food.
The bird can either be hooded or unhooded, when entering the yard for the bird to search for food. Normally, when you enter the yard walking and then stop, the bird immediately starts searching for the food,....it's an entertaining game on off days of flying. What's really funny is to start walking backwards,...you bird will soon learn you are trying to hide the food source, and she will immediately try to look around you for the location. (then coincidently, when in the field and you want the bird to launch, just start walking backwards, it works,.....and your friends will wonder what in the heck you are doing.)
So back to the yard,...you turn around and she immediately sees the food and launches,....well still on the leash and food is say ten feet away,...you immediately rush and allow the bird to feed,....(also creates restrained bating exercise for muscle strength development) If bird is lure trained, the food could be placed on the lure and hid somewhere in the yard,.....the whole process is like hunting in the wild, where the trained bird must look away from you for the food source, even in the backyard. I have been using this technique for years.

MrBill
09-01-2015, 06:45 PM
The instincts to scream are just so deeply wired into the software that is a raptor's brain that they get a rush of some kind just from doing it.

Damn, Geoff, how do you know this?

Its a real tough behavior to train out. But before I blabber on and cause mass boredom, the direct answer to your question is that the more effective way is to reward quiet behavior.

But, Geoff, if it is "hardwired into their brain," then screaming is instrumental to their survival. So, how do you "realistically" overcome this innate behavior by simply rewarding it away? I would think there would be a hell of a lot more to it than this, not the least of which would be each bird's individuality. I guess what I am suggesting, Geoff, is that there is a lot more to screaming than we understand; enough to where we just can't put it to rest, no matter how hard we try, or what "recipe" we feel is the best, and there are a few of them out there.

Bill Boni

goshawkr
09-01-2015, 07:40 PM
Thanks for your replies.

I must admit she doesn't scream continually, but when she does it is a right pain.
I often wondered if a period of extended hack would help reduce screaming.

David

David,

You have a lot of good suggestions that have been added to this thread. However, since you started this as an operant conditioning thread, on the operant conditioning forum, I wanted to elaborate a little deeper on my earlier response.

What you describe here confirms to me that if you want to solve this with operant conditioning, you will be far better off to reward the silence than to put the screams on cue. If you put the scream on cue, even if you are ultimately successful in getting a silent bird, there will be a period when it is much worse because you are temporarily encouraging it.

As I said, I have not yet gotten real serious about that with raptors, but I still have made significant progress in a few cases. I have trained both dogs and cats that were neurotically vocalizing to shut the @#$%W# up this way. In just a few days they were quite silent, at least in the situations that were previously causing them to constantly vocalize.



The instincts to scream are just so deeply wired into the software that is a raptor's brain that they get a rush of some kind just from doing it.

Damn, Geoff, how do you know this?

Its a real tough behavior to train out. But before I blabber on and cause mass boredom, the direct answer to your question is that the more effective way is to reward quiet behavior.

But, Geoff, if it is "hardwired into their brain," then screaming is instrumental to their survival. So, how do you "realistically" overcome this innate behavior by simply rewarding it away? I would think there would be a hell of a lot more to it than this, not the least of which would be each bird's individuality. I guess what I am suggesting, Geoff, is that there is a lot more to screaming than we understand; enough to where we just can't put it to rest, no matter how hard we try, or what "recipe" we feel is the best, and there are a few of them out there.


Bill,

Its actually pretty simple. I know this because I have studied the works of several people who have studied this. These people are way smarter than me, and have been working on similar problems to this for much longer than I care to think about them.

Operant Conditioning is based on almost 60 years of research. There are many behavioral psychologists and animal behaviorists behind this theory. And its not a theory in sense of "I wonder what will happen if I do this" its a theory in the sense of the theory of gravity - "so far this is the best explanation in science for this."

Individuality has little to do with it. It only comes to bear in terms of how difficult or easy it will be to train a behavior, but it has nothing to do with or not you can use a method to train that behavior.

Operant conditioning works on the basic laws of learning that every creature on this planet with a nervous system operate under. It works on all of them.

And back to what I was saying earlier - some behaviors are self rewarding because the very act of acting them out fire off the reward centers in the brain. Food begging screams by raptors are one of those. That's why its so tough to combat once it shows up. Not all self rewarding behaviors are undesirable though - catching prey is a key example.

I understand screaming quite well - as do a lot of other people.

keitht
09-01-2015, 09:24 PM
I approach screaming from a traditionalist's point of view. I see it exactly the same as Tom Smith above. If I use OC, I don't know it. And although I hear it talked about quite a lot, I can't say I've ever personally seen anyone do anything to a hawk with "OC" that makes me want to throw away or modify my methods. And when I saw this question posed, I thought to myself, "good, If these OC guys are really good, they will spell out how they can stop ingrained behavior such as screaming with OC, - and I'll finally be convinced." But I mostly hear a lot of lofty theory's and very little of something I can use from OC proponents. It's quite easy to just say "reward quiet behavior." But that sounds a bit like more theory. I'm not slamming OC, I'd just like to be shown and convinced it could help my falconry.

I do like people who can think outside the box. And I think I'm open to any new idea that hit's me upside the head. Roger's idea of "hunting" off the fist for hidden food instead of having it handed to the bird is a good example of someone thinking outside the box.

My approach to screaming has involved mainly 5 approaches (all very traditional):

1. The more into hunting and catching it's own food the bird becomes, the quieter it gets.

2. And this is related to the first - Time. Screaming subsides with age and time. And that's all about the bird becoming dependent upon it's own ability to hunt and kill.

3. Avoid direct and obvious food association as much as possible.

4. Extended time with the parents, if I really need a bird that is quiet. The longer they stay with the parents, the less likely they are to scream.

5. Constant contact with people verses contact with people only at feeding time. I have noticed for many years that my imprint accipiters scream less and stop sooner when they are kept in the house and around me all the time. Birds kept outside in an outdoor mews scream more and take longer to stop.

HGlider
09-01-2015, 10:19 PM
Everybody mentions avoid direct food association. That is one I haven't adhered to. I feed from both the hand and where ever. It is probably that I fly my bird fat. I get where people mention that to get peak performance you need your bird REAL hungry. But Diablo always gives it close to 100%. He will crash bushes hard and always chases. Maybe I could get another 5% out of him if I dropped his weight more. But I like flying him the way he is. He always stays around me except when he does a long chase and he does come back. Richard will say otherwise but it was his first time in snow and it was dam cold and the first year. Was also Richard's birthday. He did come down just before dark. I rarely have to blow the whistle to get him to come to the fist. But when an Eagle is near I blow once and he's incoming instantly. But the main reason I say this is Diablo never screams even if I don't have him come to the fist for over an hour at a time. All I do is put my fist out and he's incoming.. Maybe I'll never win a field meet with many heads of game but to me the more time in the field means more to me than a ton of game and a noisy bird that will bounce off barbwire fences. I am old and laid back when it comes to hawking.

nebli
09-02-2015, 04:04 AM
brillant answers and clues .
I like to stay as close as possible to natural behavior.
screaming can roughly be translate as begging.

begging can be translate by let them know that I want food and that is the only effort I'll made, screaming are just the cheapest way to obtain food.

that is psychologicaly important for a hawk.

instead of it go for an effort , effort is energy spending which doesn't match screaming attitude.
so jumps come in these can be streneous and incompatible with screaming.
the way I suggest is not coming to the glove but rather use a" fishing rod "actually any stick will do it , tied a string at the end a small amount of food with a very thin sewing thread. contrary to a classic jump where it has to land on the glove,

here it has to jump, turn upside down in the air, grab the food , and land
much more exausting, 10 times will probably ( depending the hawk and adapting it to it )be enough.

so the hawk will not scream to receive food , it will rather prepare itself for that effort which in turns makes him fitter and more skillful and modify its mental response.
the effort of breathing and screaming are incompatible. so knowing what to expect it will give up soon ( all this having a goshawk in mind)

davids
09-02-2015, 06:40 AM
Thank you for the suggestions and advice.
I did approach this from an OC point of view and I still think it will work with that method IF I was skillful enough.
I probably have instilled the behaviour over the years without realising it and to be truthful it never really bothered me that much, but I do have neighbours who perhaps don't appreciate her calling.
She doesn't scream constantly and just yesterday, when she started calling, I just picked her up, hooded her for a while, then sat her back on her perch where she was quiet. I think the act of hooding interrupted her mind-set.
I think there are plenty of other methods that will work, though when people say hunting will quieten her down, perhaps, but it hasn't made much of a difference that I can tell. Maybe she would be ten times worse if she wasn't catching her own game. She does catch on average 40 head of game a year, mostly single kills then crop up and home.
Again thanks for your suggestions, its much appreciated.

Ducksanddogs
09-02-2015, 08:05 AM
And back to what I was saying earlier - some behaviors are self rewarding because the very act of acting them out fire off the reward centers in the brain. Food begging screams by raptors are one of those. That's why its so tough to combat once it shows up. Not all self rewarding behaviors are undesirable though - catching prey is a key example.

I understand screaming quite well - as do a lot of other people.



So, they're not really food begging, they're just screaming because they enjoy it? Why, then, are they usually quiet in nature after some maturity, yet continue to catch prey, if both items fire off said reward centers? Obviously one leads to food; but, you're indicating they both have neurologically rewarding outcomes regardless of acquisition of a meal.

MrBill
09-02-2015, 11:09 AM
Its actually pretty simple. I know this because I have studied the works of several people who have studied this. These people are way smarter than me, and have been working on similar problems to this for much longer than I care to think about them.

Operant Conditioning is based on almost 60 years of research. There are many behavioral psychologists and animal behaviorists behind this theory. And its not a theory in sense of "I wonder what will happen if I do this" its a theory in the sense of the theory of gravity - "so far this is the best explanation in science for this."

First of all, Geoff, I didn't mean to insult you knowledge of OC; The focus of my comments, Geoff, was not on OC; in fact, I never mentioned it. But I guess that is what you were basing your original comments on. I should have realized this fact. Sorry.

My question was, basically, how do you or anyone know, that these birds get "a rush from screaming?" No one knows if they get a "rush" from anything they do; do they?

Individuality has little to do with it. It only comes to bear in terms of how difficult or easy it will be to train a behavior, but it has nothing to do with or not you can use a method to train that behavior.

Operant conditioning works on the basic laws of learning that every creature on this planet with a nervous system operate under. It works on all of them.

Geoff, I realize you have a firm believe in OC, and I respect that, but these are categorical statements that are just not entirely true because they are based upon theory, regardless of how much you might believe in it, or have found it successful. You might want to qualify some of your statements with something like, "Based upon my experience, and those of others, it is my firm belief that . . . . ".

Many years ago, I once had an imprinted immature goshawk that screamed its lungs out at the falconer who imprinted him. But, when I took him home, he never screamed again, not one peep. And I have heard of others that have had this experience. There, obviously, was some psychological compelling reason for him to quit screaming like that, which I would not even guess at, but it certainly wasn't the result of any "conditioning."

And back to what I was saying earlier - some behaviors are self rewarding because the very act of acting them out fire off the reward centers in the brain. Food begging screams by raptors are one of those. That's why its so tough to combat once it shows up.

Here's another categorical statement. You are stating a fact, Geoff. How do you know this?

I understand screaming quite well - as do a lot of other people.

Good for you, Geoff

Bill Boni

Tom Smith
09-02-2015, 01:06 PM
I have a few falconer friends that are also into behavior in raptors and have spent some time playing with that aspect, that is behavior. It is not uncommon for them when discussing some behavior to start the conversation with the comment, "I hate to be anthropomorphic but I have a hard time describing it otherwise" So when one comes to realize that they know what it means to be anthropomorphic, one starts to forgive them for describing their observations in anthropomorphic terminology. So we all know a stupid bird is incapable of finding joy or exuberance in anything but we will express it in those terms as if the bird enjoyed sailing around or screaming or any thing that it does because we know our fellow falconers will understand what we are talking about.

goshawkr
09-02-2015, 02:39 PM
I have a few falconer friends that are also into behavior in raptors and have spent some time playing with that aspect, that is behavior. It is not uncommon for them when discussing some behavior to start the conversation with the comment, "I hate to be anthropomorphic but I have a hard time describing it otherwise" So when one comes to realize that they know what it means to be anthropomorphic, one starts to forgive them for describing their observations in anthropomorphic terminology. So we all know a stupid bird is incapable of finding joy or exuberance in anything but we will express it in those terms as if the bird enjoyed sailing around or screaming or any thing that it does because we know our fellow falconers will understand what we are talking about.

Tom,

These researchers are overly sensitive about "anthropomorphizing" in their descriptions. To be fair, that is for good reason. If you look at behavioral research from as recently as the 40s and 50s there is a lot of garbage that was put out by scientists because they were not objective enough. However, I think the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction now.

It IS anthropomorphic to say that falcons (or other non-human animals) feel and think in human terms.

It is NOT anthropomorphic to say that raptors feel and think in raptor terms.

And to Bill's point, no one who has not actually been a raptor really knows for certain what goes on in their head - what they think, what they feel. The best we can do is make some educated inferences. Those inferences have value as data - they should not be discounted out of hand. However, to maintain true scientific objectivity it needs to be remembered that they are in fact, inferences.

Birds are quite alien from mammals in general and humans in particular, but they are more like we are than they are different in many ways.

keitht
09-02-2015, 06:43 PM
I don't know how many of you have observed this behavior :

I had an issue with my imprint gos of this year not holding weight if only fed once a day. She just wouldn't eat enough at one setting.

One day I fed her up until she would not eat any more. But she sat there on the shelf perch in my living room and screamed anyway.

It just seemed odd at the time why a bird would scream that wasn't interested in eating. Hard to figure these birds sometimes.

nebli
09-03-2015, 04:59 AM
Tom,

These researchers are overly sensitive about "anthropomorphizing" in their descriptions. To be fair, that is for good reason. If you look at behavioral research from as recently as the 40s and 50s there is a lot of garbage that was put out by scientists because they were not objective enough. However, I think the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction now.

It IS anthropomorphic to say that falcons (or other non-human animals) feel and think in human terms.

It is NOT anthropomorphic to say that raptors feel and think in raptor terms.

And to Bill's point, no one who has not actually been a raptor really knows for certain what goes on in their head - what they think, what they feel. The best we can do is make some educated inferences. Those inferences have value as data - they should not be discounted out of hand. However, to maintain true scientific objectivity it needs to be remembered that they are in fact, inferences.

Birds are quite alien from mammals in general and humans in particular, but they are more like we are than they are different in many ways.
interesting thoughts nevertheless I think that animals do share common attitudes and feelings with humans if they are hungry and so are you it is the same, if you're scare also if you are relax etc..

I mean by that that they are confronted to many phenomena that we are confronted as well and they do share similar answers much of the time.

rkumetz
09-03-2015, 12:25 PM
I don't know how many of you have observed this behavior :

I had an issue with my imprint gos of this year not holding weight if only fed once a day. She just wouldn't eat enough at one setting.

One day I fed her up until she would not eat any more. But she sat there on the shelf perch in my living room and screamed anyway.

It just seemed odd at the time why a bird would scream that wasn't interested in eating. Hard to figure these birds sometimes.

My imprint gos does that. My best guess is that he gets distracted by noises, birds overhead, clouds, bugs and other stuff and simply walks away from food before he has what he needs to go 24hrs. With my bird it became more pronounced when I was down to 1 meal a day which is why I concluded that.

nebli
09-04-2015, 02:02 AM
I have another explanation that could maybe answer that ?

have you notice how chicken independently of food do chirp all the time
that is a way of keeping always contact with their mother.

so do goshawks in the nest when the parents are around( that's precisely one way of finding them)
so it is a way of mantaining the parent's bonding strong and ..necer turning adult. which happens in the wild when dispersal takes place.

don't know if you practice this , I saw a method in the UK:

that is imprinting goshawks are reared by 2 austringers , each rearing each other's hawk and giving it back when hard penned , they do are imprint but don't show the screaming , and particularly the agressive behavior that many imprints show.

Tom Smith
09-04-2015, 10:03 AM
I have another explanation that could maybe answer that ?

have you notice how chicken independently of food do chirp all the time
that is a way of keeping always contact with their mother.

so do goshawks in the nest when the parents are around( that's precisely one way of finding them)
so it is a way of mantaining the parent's bonding strong and ..necer turning adult. which happens in the wild when dispersal takes place.

don't know if you practice this , I saw a method in the UK:

that is imprinting goshawks are reared by 2 austringers , each rearing each other's hawk and giving it back when hard penned , they do are imprint but don't show the screaming , and particularly the agressive behavior that many imprints show.

That is very much what happens when one takes a passage bird. The passage bird is an imprint on it's parents as all birds are. We can assume the passage bird was for a time a screamer and when it is taken by a falconer it quits screaming with the change of parent and address. You have probably seen a passage bird that it will scream at a passing adult of it's species and may even mantle and flutter it's wings a little, in an attempt to return to it's roots.

keitht
09-04-2015, 10:57 AM
That is very much what happens when one takes a passage bird. The passage bird is an imprint on it's parents as all birds are. We can assume the passage bird was for a time a screamer and when it is taken by a falconer it quits screaming with the change of parent and address. You have probably seen a passage bird that it will scream at a passing adult of it's species and may even mantle and flutter it's wings a little, in an attempt to return to it's roots.

Then one other complexity in the mix: When a passage bird is held by a falconer for years the passage bird begins to look on the falconer now as its new provider and seems to switch from imprinted to its parents to imprinting to the falconer.

And another: Although we know that getting a bird hunting hard greatly reduces screaming. It doesn't however totally / completely stop it. I suspect that even the bird that now hunts for it's own meal realizes that it's the falconer still that suddenly appears and transports it to the field where it can hunt and kill. So even a well made hunting bird is still somewhat dependent upon the falconer - something that doesn't occur in the wild, where the cut with the parents is permanent and complete.

And yet another observation is that during the molt, that bird that has developed into a "independent" hunter, is once again provided with handouts from the falconer. Once again, the ties are never really as broken as they are in the wild.

davids
09-05-2015, 05:39 AM
Hi Keith

Over here in the UK i have heard some people moult their imprint hawk out in seclusion thereby cutting all association with the bird.
Don't know if that would help or not, but it possibly could harm the bond the hawk has with the owner.
Also it seems to me that some birds are naturally more vocal than others.

rkumetz
09-05-2015, 07:46 AM
Hi Keith

Over here in the UK i have heard some people moult their imprint hawk out in seclusion thereby cutting all association with the bird.
Don't know if that would help or not, but it possibly could harm the bond the hawk has with the owner.
Also it seems to me that some birds are naturally more vocal than others.
That sounds more like short term noise abatement than a solution.

goshawkr
09-05-2015, 02:31 PM
So, they're not really food begging, they're just screaming because they enjoy it? Why, then, are they usually quiet in nature after some maturity, yet continue to catch prey, if both items fire off said reward centers? Obviously one leads to food; but, you're indicating they both have neurologically rewarding outcomes regardless of acquisition of a meal.

I had a comprehensive reply to this that I submitted several days ago, but it disappeared into the ether. I hope I can recreate it.

Food begging is tied to screaming. that is the instinctive origin of the behavior. Its a response to strong hunger directed at "summoning" a perceived provider. In a natural environment, the parent birds are the provider. Screaming self extinguishes in nature when the raptor realizes that the provider is no longer showing up. But recently dispersed young hawks and falcons expend a lot of effort trying to summon a provider by screaming in the late summer and early fall. In a falconry scenario, the falconer becomes the provider, and is the target for these instincts. Since the falconer never leaves the hawk's life there is always a target for these behviors to be focused on.

I was trying to keep from getting overly complicated earlier, and unfortunately I think I caused more than a bit of confusion instead. So I would like to try to step back.

The text book definition of a self reinforcing behavior might be something like: "Any behavior which the animal feels yields the response it is seeking without any purposeful response from others."

There are many many examples of self reinforcing behavior, but the classical one usually trotted out in discussions of them is this one:

A dog perceives a threat from a delivery man, and barks to try to scare the delivery man away. The delivery man drops off whatever they are delivering, and then leaves. From the dogs point of view, the bark worked to get rid of the threat, sot the bark becomes self reinforcing, and the next time the dog perceives a threat like this it will base its behavior on its experience (from its point of view) and will repeat his success by barking.

A hawk screaming to express hunger becomes self reinforcing also. The "provider" shows up, and the hunger is alleviated after the screaming. So in the hawks mind the screaming worked, and the behavior becomes more firmly entrenched.

When I spoke of the "rush" I was responding in haste, and being more brief than I should have been. What I was really trying to talk about is the pleasure of success that people and animals feel (animals have been shown to produce endorphins from success in many animal studies where brain chemistry was physically examined) when they think they have achieved their goal. In addition to the food reward from screaming, its a powerful reinforcement mechanism. Just the perception of success is a reward. In hindsight, I caused a lot more confusion with that and wish I had not brought it up.

Most of the traditional methods to eliminate screaming are some theme of the strategy of decoupling the percepetion in the hawks mind that the falconer who is working with that hawk is the "provider" who should be screamed at (trying to avoid direct food association, having a different falconer raise it, never letting the hawk feel true hunger, etc.) This works quite well. Other similar ideas that work are to frustrate the link between screaming and getting food by spending more time with the hawk. These work too, but not nearly as well (for complex reasons I cant seem to articulate at the moment...) And the very best strategies combine spending time with the hawk and avoiding a link between screaming and getting fed.

Operant Conditioning methods open up another set of ways to crack the nut. One strategy as has been mentioned is to teach the hawk that silence is what gives the reward instead of squaking. Another is to teach the hawk that screaming is ONLY rewarded in certain exact situations - like the example I gave of my friend who played conductor with the gyrfalcon orchestra.

Operant Conditioning is not always the best way to go about solving a problem. It really is something of a magic wand that can be applied to any behavior problem, but sometimes its faster and more effective and even easier to use other tricks. There are also many situations where someone using Operant Conditioning can have it backfire on them and train something they didn't intend - and as I said initially, training a raptor to scream on command can easily slip into that category. Its a behavior that is much easier to encourage than eliminate once it gets estabilished.

goshawkr
09-05-2015, 02:56 PM
First of all, Geoff, I didn't mean to insult you knowledge of OC; The focus of my comments, Geoff, was not on OC; in fact, I never mentioned it. But I guess that is what you were basing your original comments on. I should have realized this fact. Sorry.

My question was, basically, how do you or anyone know, that these birds get "a rush from screaming?" No one knows if they get a "rush" from anything they do; do they?

No worries bill. I am not and was not offended.

In short, chemical analysis done on the brains of several animal test subjects have resulted in similar enough results to realize that the response is universal in higher animals at least.

When an animal does something that it perceives as the "right" thing it releases endorphins, creates its own high, and feels rewarded.

But like I said in the response I posted a few minutes ago - it was a mistake to bring this up because its diving deep into an area that is causing more confusion than clarity.


Geoff, I realize you have a firm believe in OC, and I respect that, but these are categorical statements that are just not entirely true because they are based upon theory, regardless of how much you might believe in it, or have found it successful. You might want to qualify some of your statements with something like, "Based upon my experience, and those of others, it is my firm belief that . . . . ".

Sadly, there are two scientific meanings of the same word theory and they cause confusion. OC is a very spophisticated branch of reward based training that is based on the currently accepted "laws of learning." In time, those laws of learning might be replaced by theories that better explain the data, but even then they will still be a viable explanation to understand what goes on during learning. They are in effect irrefutable. It dosnt matter if I or anyone else believe in them ore not - just like an apple will fall no matter what I or anyone else will believe.

Reward based training works on any and all creatures. Operant Conditioning, being a form of reward based training does as well, although to the best of my knowledge OC only works on animals with at least a rudimentary nervous system. But it will work on each and every one. Earthworms and scallops have been trained with OC.

This is not just my perception or believe. Any animal with a nervous system that includes a way to precieve input from the outside world can be trained with operant conditioning, and that includes any raptor that is not in a brain dead state.

Beyond that, the only limitations to what can be trained using OC are the imagination of the trainer and will and determination to see it through.

There are a lot of situations where its more of a project than it is worth to train some behavior, but that dos not equate with this not being possible. And some individual animals may just be more of a project than they are worth to turn around. Again, that has nothing to do with wether or not its possible to do so. That's just an equation of effort on the cost/benefit scale.


Many years ago, I once had an imprinted immature goshawk that screamed its lungs out at the falconer who imprinted him. But, when I took him home, he never screamed again, not one peep. And I have heard of others that have had this experience. There, obviously, was some psychological compelling reason for him to quit screaming like that, which I would not even guess at, but it certainly wasn't the result of any "conditioning."

No, this wasn't the result of conditioning. It worked out because this goshawk had a very specific link in its mind to who was the "provider" - and that was the falconer who raised it. This is a great trick, and for what its worth it is a good deal less work than trying to use Operant Conditioning to extinguish screaming. Just because a method works dosnt mean its the easiest way to get something accomplished.

Somehow I seem to have a knack for getting every goshawk I lay my hands on to think of me as a provider and scream. But I don't mind - I live in the country where my neighbors don't care, and I don't care so long as its not right in my ear.

jal4470
09-05-2015, 07:17 PM
Geoff,

Your examples of self rewarding behaviour, I think, areally more superstious behaviour. A behaviour occurs, an event happens, unrelated to the behaviour and a superstious connection is made. I think a better example would be a bored dog paceing in a run. The pacing burns off restless energy and is thus rewarded. Running, for people who get a runners high, is a self reenforceing behaivour. Eating. Things like that

MrBill
09-05-2015, 07:54 PM
In short, chemical analysis done on the brains of several animal test subjects have resulted in similar enough results to realize that the response is universal in higher animals at least.

When an animal does something that it perceives as the "right" thing it releases endorphins, creates its own high, and feels rewarded.

But like I said in the response I posted a few minutes ago - it was a mistake to bring this up because its diving deep into an area that is causing more confusion than clarity.

OMG, Geoff! Give us some references, please. And, it is not that you are causing confusion (we really are not stupid).


They are in effect irrefutable.

Geoff, if they are irrefutable, they are not theories, they are facts, which is not the case with OC.

Reward based training works on any and all creatures. Operant Conditioning, being a form of reward based training does as well, although to the best of my knowledge OC only works on animals with at least a rudimentary nervous system. But it will work on each and every one. Earthworms and scallops have been trained with OC.

Geoff, again, please give us some references to what you are advocating.

Quote:
Many years ago, I once had an imprinted immature goshawk that screamed its lungs out at the falconer who imprinted him. But, when I took him home, he never screamed again, not one peep. And I have heard of others that have had this experience. There, obviously, was some psychological compelling reason for him to quit screaming like that, which I would not even guess at, but it certainly wasn't the result of any "conditioning."
No, this wasn't the result of conditioning. It worked out because this goshawk had a very specific link in its mind to who was the "provider" - and that was the falconer who raised it. This is a great trick, and for what its worth it is a good deal less work than trying to use Operant Conditioning to extinguish screaming. Just because a method works dosnt mean its the easiest way to get something accomplished.

Geoff, I can't imagine any easier way--I didn't do anything.

Somehow I seem to have a knack for getting every goshawk I lay my hands on to think of me as a provider and scream. But I don't mind - I live in the country where my neighbors don't care, and I don't care so long as its not right in my ear.

Geoff, you should try OC--it works on any animal with a nervous system :-)

Bill Boni
__________________

MrBill
09-05-2015, 07:56 PM
Geoff,

Your examples of self rewarding behaviour, I think, areally more superstious behaviour. A behaviour occurs, an event happens, unrelated to the behaviour and a superstious connection is made. I think a better example would be a bored dog paceing in a run. The pacing burns off restless energy and is thus rewarded. Running, for people who get a runners high, is a self reenforceing behaivour. Eating. Things like that

Good examples, Jacob.

Bill Boni

goshawkr
09-06-2015, 01:42 PM
OMG, Geoff! Give us some references, please. And, it is not that you are causing confusion (we really are not stupid).

I wasn't inferring that you are stupid. I am the one who is too dim to really articulate what I am trying to get across well.



They are in effect irrefutable.

Geoff, if they are irrefutable, they are not theories, they are facts, which is not the case with OC. In the commonly accepted sense of the word fact, that would be correct. However, in science there are no "facts". There are data, and interpriations/explanations of those data.


Geoff, again, please give us some references to what you are advocating. Um, with all due respect Bill.... This is a sub-forum of NAFEX DEDICATED to operant conditioning, as I said earlier. You responded to it questioning the very merits of OC, and then you want me to cite research to defend it?? That seems at best a bit off to me. The data is out there, easy to find if you want it. Your an academic, it should be even easier for you to find than most.

But the easy place to start is "don't shoot the dog" by Karen Pryor. She has a website here that should have some info on it: http://www.clickertraining.com/



Geoff, I can't imagine any easier way--I didn't do anything.


Getting the results you want without any effort is as good as it gets!


Geoff, you should try OC--it works on any animal with a nervous system :-)Bill, I think you missed when I said this:



Beyond that, the only limitations to what can be trained using OC are the imagination of the trainer and will and determination to see it through.


I have enough imagination to see it through - I could write down the recipe for the solution to this behavioral problem on a cocktail napkin (in OC training circles, specific plans for training a specific animal are often casually referred to as recipes.) but the will and determination on the other hand..... :D

As I said before, I have fooled around with using OC to stop screaming, and made progress. But then my determination winds down and I find other stuff to do.

I am actually building a machine right now that will do the training for me. Should have it done in a few weeks. Then I don't need any determination at all.

goshawkr
09-06-2015, 02:21 PM
As this conversation has been progressing, I have been doing a little bit of OC with my current imprint goshawk to shape silence instead of screaming. For the past two years, I have done this with a bit of determination coming out of the molt, make great progress, and then give up as her will to scream overwhelms my will to shape the silence.

I had my step son shoot some video of one of the sessions. This was just after I had noticed she was not food begging and had given the CR to tag that silence and given her a reward. In this video, she is not screaming, but is excited and anticipating the CR. I am silently waiting for ~5 seconds of absolute silence before I give the CR. At this stage, I give her the reward anyway even though she vocalized after the CR was given.

https://youtu.be/N08k-30oIwM

This is also a goshawk that as an eyass I put the screaming on cue. When I call her name, she responds with a food begging scream. This behavior has diminished, and now in her fourth year is almost completely gone. Its a real handy way to track her down in the field, so I do want to work on that some before the silence gets too entrenched.

latham
09-06-2015, 03:10 PM
Interesting discussion with some good tips that I will incorporate. What has worked well for my longwings and a couple of gos for over 45 years is "aversion" training. This works best when done with big downies, but has worked with feathered birds as well. When a bird screams, while being raised on a table top type nest/pan, around the house, I tickle the back of its throat with the soft end of a molted primary. There is no food "reward" for the screaming, just the opposite. This can work with older birds but they should be on the fist. Otherwise, they might bate upon approach. I have yet to have this happen, but I do not want to test them or set them up for a bad habit. I also use the feather (or the old chopstick trick) to stroke a bird in order to get it used to hand movements around the head without putting the feather in its mouth. After having its throat "tickled" a few times over several days, the bird will try to scream with its beak closed - the result is a sort of "bird whimper". When you see that, you know you nearly done. Some birds I have not used this method on have talked more than the others but outgrew the talking after being flown regularly. (And don't worry, they will still preen -haha!). Be slow and gentle. Good luck, Bob

goshawkr
09-06-2015, 03:17 PM
Geoff,

Your examples of self rewarding behaviour, I think, areally more superstious behaviour. A behaviour occurs, an event happens, unrelated to the behaviour and a superstious connection is made. I think a better example would be a bored dog paceing in a run. The pacing burns off restless energy and is thus rewarded. Running, for people who get a runners high, is a self reenforceing behaivour. Eating. Things like that

Jacob,

I don't think you are incorrect. However, if you view the behaviors I gave as an example from the point of view of the animal - the behaviors achieved the results that were intended. That is currently the standard used by professional animal trainers and I believe it is still also used by most researchers in the field of animal behavior although I am not certain about that.

The examples you give are definitely better ones for self rewarding, although it would exclude screaming from that definition.

Maybe, just for the sake of this discussion, we should say that both superstitious and self rewarding behaviors are really tough to crack. ;)

goshawkr
09-06-2015, 03:33 PM
Interesting discussion with some good tips that I will incorporate. What has worked well for my longwings and a couple of gos for over 45 years is "aversion" training. This works best when done with big downies, but has worked with feathered birds as well. When a bird screams, while being raised on a table top type nest/pan, around the house, I tickle the back of its throat with the soft end of a molted primary. There is no food "reward" for the screaming, just the opposite. This can work with older birds but they should be on the fist. Otherwise, they might bate upon approach. I have yet to have this happen, but I do not want to test them or set them up for a bad habit. I also use the feather (or the old chopstick trick) to stroke a bird in order to get it used to hand movements around the head without putting the feather in its mouth. After having its throat "tickled" a few times over several days, the bird will try to scream with its beak closed - the result is a sort of "bird whimper". When you see that, you know you nearly done. Some birds I have not used this method on have talked more than the others but outgrew the talking after being flown regularly. (And don't worry, they will still preen -haha!). Be slow and gentle. Good luck, Bob

Bob,

The antithesis to reward training is aversion training. Their is a similar antithesis to operant conditioning but the term escapes me at the moment.

Reward training has become completely in vogue over the last several years to the point that anyone who suggests punishing an animal during training is viewed as a barbarian or worse. But those methods do work. And they do not have to be used with malice or cruelty - in fact they never should be.

Operant conditioning is really a one syllable language that means "YES!". It lets you tag a moment in time, and indicate that this is the behavior that led to the reward.

Several years ago it occurred to me that while this communication is very powerful, its much more powerful to add one other element to the communication - making a two syllable language. One means yes, the other no.

Classical Reward training and OC methods advocate that if you just ignore behaviors you don't want they will go away. But this is a very na´ve view. Without a real motivation to stop a behavior, an animal (or person) may keep doing just for the heck of it.

I am really reluctant to advocate any sort of aversion or punishment training for raptors because I am concerned that they get misused. But having some way to say "knock it off!" really helps. Hawks don't respond well at all to a rolled up newspaper, but more subtle and gentle forms of pleasantries they certainly get.

nebli
09-07-2015, 10:57 AM
I think that it is better to get as close as possible to nature , the hawks are already in an artificial situation:

that is being in contact with some other creature in a relationship different than eating it , being eaten by it ,being indiferent to it, breeding with it or defending it .these are basically the 5 types of relationship that a goshawk has with its environment

here we ask them to build a relation of cooperation and trust only found in a few occasions during breeding season.

one answer easily found by imprints is to stay in a "eyass attitude" in that way it just stick much longer than normaly in a dependence mentality.
if it has been fed when screaming it just inforces the natural trend.

independence is achieved by exploring ( that we can emulate) and hunting that is fine as we actually look for that, so hunting , full crop , than nothing for a day , rehunt , full crop again, then 2 games a day fed on the last full crop , and so each bird will evolved following its own experience , personality and how much we are able to properly interpret its reactions, in that way we try to keep as close as possible to its natural behavior, we are becoming a game provider first then it can evolve into partnership.

older hawks ,like haggards can be a complete different story but that is something else .

MrBill
09-07-2015, 02:00 PM
Geoff,

I want to apologize for pinning you down on your contentions. I should have just kept my mouth shut. But so many times on this list I see people make categorical statements with no real basis, other than their own experiences with "individual" hawks, statement that folks might very well take as gospel. I guess I am just a little too sensitive to these sort of statements without any sort of qualifies. Sorry.

As to using a newspaper to get a bird's attention--I have said before that years ago a falconer did this with a HH that was aggressive towards her in the mews, and it ended the aggression. Now, please understand, she did not beat the hell out of bird with the newspaper, or harm the bird in any way; in fact, she felt it was the sound of the newspaper more than impact that did the trick.

Bill Boni

goshawkr
09-07-2015, 04:20 PM
Geoff,

Your examples of self rewarding behaviour, I think, areally more superstious behaviour. A behaviour occurs, an event happens, unrelated to the behaviour and a superstious connection is made. I think a better example would be a bored dog paceing in a run. The pacing burns off restless energy and is thus rewarded. Running, for people who get a runners high, is a self reenforceing behaivour. Eating. Things like that

Jacob,

After I responded to this yesterday, something was just prickling in the back of my head about my earlier response not quite being right. Then It hit me after I did a bit of sleeping on some reading I had done yesterday related to this discussion.

Speaking strictly from the current standards of definition that the psychologists who study animal behavior are using, what you cite as examples here are actually called "primary enforcers". I guess its also not in-accurate to call them self reinforcing, because they are.

You are definitely correct that the examples I initially used for self-reinforcing are based on superstitions, at least some of the time.

goshawkr
09-07-2015, 04:27 PM
Geoff,

I want to apologize for pinning you down on your contentions. I should have just kept my mouth shut. But so many times on this list I see people make categorical statements with no real basis, other than their own experiences with "individual" hawks, statement that folks might very well take as gospel. I guess I am just a little too sensitive to these sort of statements without any sort of qualifies. Sorry.

No worries Bill. I also have seen the same thing, and I like it when blowhards are kept honest. I do hope I didn't cross the line into blowhardome though. :D



As to using a newspaper to get a bird's attention--I have said before that years ago a falconer did this with a HH that was aggressive towards her in the mews, and it ended the aggression. Now, please understand, she did not beat the hell out of bird with the newspaper, or harm the bird in any way; in fact, she felt it was the sound of the newspaper more than impact that did the trick.

Bill Boni

I don't doubt that worked. Its just so easy to misuse that though.

jal4470
09-07-2015, 04:52 PM
Geoff,

I think you are correct re the current terminology. I prefer the term 'self reinforcing' though as I think it conveys the point more intuitively. But that may be because I am more familiar with it. No mater what you name the behavior type though, they are a bear to deal with.

Cuz
09-08-2015, 12:08 AM
Bob,

The antithesis to reward training is aversion training. Their is a similar antithesis to operant conditioning but the term escapes me at the moment.

Reward training has become completely in vogue over the last several years to the point that anyone who suggests punishing an animal during training is viewed as a barbarian or worse. But those methods do work. And they do not have to be used with malice or cruelty - in fact they never should be.

Operant conditioning is really a one syllable language that means "YES!". It lets you tag a moment in time, and indicate that this is the behavior that led to the reward.

Several years ago it occurred to me that while this communication is very powerful, its much more powerful to add one other element to the communication - making a two syllable language. One means yes, the other no.

Classical Reward training and OC methods advocate that if you just ignore behaviors you don't want they will go away. But this is a very na´ve view. Without a real motivation to stop a behavior, an animal (or person) may keep doing just for the heck of it.

I am really reluctant to advocate any sort of aversion or punishment training for raptors because I am concerned that they get misused. But having some way to say "knock it off!" really helps. Hawks don't respond well at all to a rolled up newspaper, but more subtle and gentle forms of pleasantries they certainly get.

Geoff and by association, the rest of the thread,

What the gent is doing by using the feather is not punishment, but negative reinforcement, which is not a form of punishment. With your knowledge and skill, I am surprised by your response to this action. If we are going to talk OC, then lets get down to what it actually is, was and shall be.

Operant conditioning does not mean YES. Positive reinforcement training does. Those who truly know OC know this is not true. I hope those that do use it, realize what OC is and what it is not. Aversion training is something completely different than OC, but does share some of the same philosophy.

Operant conditioning is based on four basic tenants:

1. Positive reinforcement:used for most if not all of falconry training. Animal does what you want, you reward the behavior. Animal repeats what makes the reward appear, and it becomes ingrained and part of routine, to get what it likes. Catching the bird not screaming and using the tenant must be very tough, time consuming and ultimately, not worth the effort. Positive reinforcement actually encourages the behavior. Falconer shows up, bird screams and the food arrives. Bird screams for ten hours, and the falconer shows up with the food. This goes on and on and on. Hunting shows to the hawk that food comes from somewhere else, and if screaming does not precede the kill, the screaming loses it's reinforcement. Since the food is not coming from the falconer, but from wild or bagged game, the screaming is not conducive to the reward. Repeated hunting can eliminate this problem, but as I have seen, it can take quite a bit of time, and only when in the field.

2.Negative punishment: the act of taking something away that the animal likes. Removing food, toys, self or whatever the animal likes. When you take it away, the animal associates the previous act, that was unwanted, with the removal of the enjoyable item/food/toy/person/sight/etc. Repeated exposure to this punishment can eliminate many unwanted behaviors. Screaming is a tough one with this approach, as your presence is not very rewarding to most birds and removing the food will just make them scream more. This tenant works very well with social and pack animals. They respond very well to it and it is used predominately and with excellent success with canines.

3. Negative reinforcement: the act of doing something to an animal that they do not like, but does not physically harm them. The gentlemen in the previous discussion referred to tickling a feather in the back of the throat. I really like this type of treatment for a screaming bird, but have not personally done it. As far as animals go, this is what I would try, as it does not harm the bird, but they do not like it. With dogs that bark innocuously, banging pots together is something they do not like, and when associated with the barking, stops said barking, as they do not like sharp, loud noises. Since hawks and falcons are not primarily social animals, this would be an excellent way of stopping screaming. Sounds they do not like would also be an excellent way of stopping the behavior, but it would have to be consistent with each and every time they screamed in order for them to associate the screaming with something they do not like. In the wild, I would bet a screaming hawk or falcon would bring in another predator. Said predator would teach them that each time they scream, they are bringing the heat of possible death to them. Repeated exposure to this action would eliminate the screaming, or contribute to their death. To the predator, the screaming would be a positive reinforcement, as it leads to a young, dumb, piece of meat at the end of the scream.

4. Positive punishment: this is the rolled newspaper and hitting the bird with it. I do not condone this practice for any hawk or falcon. I have had to use it, albeit very infrequently with dogs professionally. Many people use this as the first line of training with many animals, with many bad side effects. It does work for many people, but I would much rather use the first tenant, then the second, then the third. If there is no success, and much patience with the first three, I would use the last one on a social or pack animal, with constraint and much deliberation. I have seen a Harris breeder smack a bird that was attacking the breeder, and stop the attacking from occurring once again. I do not condone smacking a Harris, but have seen it work for that person.

B. F. Skinner and others came up with Operant Conditioning quite a few decades ago. As stated previously, it does work with any and all animals on this planet, including us as human beings. Depending upon the animal, some, if not all of the tenants work. Also depending upon the animal, some have bad consequences for relationships and who is passing out and receiving the punishment.

The gent who came up with the feather technique and the conditioning before applying it, needs to be applauded. I read this thread and could not come up with a solution, but I sure like his.

Negative reinforcement is a solution to this issue. What needs to be discovered, is what the hawk or falcon does not like, but causes no physical harm. Once that has been discovered, a concerted effort needs to be made to induce the non-likable event to take place as many times as the bird screams. Repeated exposure should lead the animal to stop the unwanted behavior. If the repeated exposure does not stop the animal from the unwanted act, the negative reinforcement needs to be changed to another strategy.

A fellow falconer had Gos hawks that screamed something awful for the first year. I could hardly stand it, and could not understand why or how he could. Turned me off the imprint Gos. Kudos to the gent with the feather. I would have done it myself to his hawks, just to get some peace in the car from field to field, or just enjoying food and a beverage without that awful noise.

The ultimate way to get rid of the screaming, get a chamber raised Gos. I have one right now, and he has screamed a total of three times in the past eight weeks. Each and every time it has occurred when called to the fist, but it is very minor, and not worth consideration.

I hope you find the answer to your screaming Gos hawk. It is a problem of epic proportions.

Zarafia
09-08-2015, 02:18 AM
I suck at everything and am no trainer. But I did "cure" a hardcore screaming HH of screaming.
Yes, screaming is a contact call. I used that. My bird was given to me because even though she was a proven hunter, she screamed her darling lungs out at the sight of any human, neighbors very much included.
I picked her up, and having been a cockatoo owner, I thought I was ready. She screamed the whole 5 hours home. Out loud, in Technicolor.
So when I got home I tried to figure out what was wrong?

Zarafia
09-08-2015, 02:28 AM
She desired interaction. One on one, every day, several times a day. She was a harris hawk in every possible way. She needed to be needed. She needed to be wanted. So I wanted her. I took her on in every way.
Still a screamer, she hunted quiet and caught a friggin fox!
Brilliant young girl. Still she called.
So I just decided to spend time with her. A lot of time. I taught her tricks!
OC stuff, harris hawks learn so fast!
My kiddo learned to take perches as ordered by voice command and visual cue. And she became silent.
Brilliant, beautiful and perfect.
It was a great thing that I taught her visual cues for feeding because I got hurt bad. I had to have just regular people feed her. And she was perfect for them.
She was perfect. She is with another falconer now and she is silent and perfect.
No hawk is "incurable". Only falconers are.

Zarafia
09-08-2015, 02:33 AM
Oh yeah, on the contact calling. I kept that up. I'd scream to her and she replies. And vice versa. If she calls I always call her name. Every time. She never needs to worry. She is a vital part of a family now. Her new Dad knows this too. She is treasured at her new home.

dboyrollz76
09-08-2015, 11:15 AM
My new hh started to scream a bit. Every time she would scream a bit I would go pick her up and walk her on the glove without tid bits or food. It seemed to me the screaming was starting when she started to develope the food association with me and the glove.
She started thinking every time she seen me she would get food. So I threw a random card at her and pick her up with no food and did not give her any on the glove. She learned that if I scream I get picked up and held with no food. So she stopped, she still peeps a bit but no a all out scream.
If I walk out and she screams, I pick her up and walk her for a hour. It worked I have a silent 2015 FHH.

rkumetz
09-08-2015, 02:15 PM
I pick her up and walk her for a hour. It worked I have a silent 2015 FHH.

And worn out shoes! :D

Dillon
09-08-2015, 04:35 PM
There is a lot of confusion in this thread, which is common, because behaviorism is not clear-cut and easy. Mark did a great summarization.

There are a couple of things that I want to add to help those who are interested in OC wrap their heads around it a little better.

First, in behavior analysis, there are three quadrants: Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence. Antecedents are anything that occurs before the behavior and they "set the stage" for behaviors to potentially occur. Cues are antecedents. You raise your glove and that is the cue (antecedent) for the bird that if she flies to you (the behavior) she will likely get a food reward (the consequence).

Falconers don't "choose" to use operant conditioning; instead, he or she can choose to learn about the underlying theories to help manage his or her interactions with the hawk, but he bird itself is learning and modifying its behavior at all times. The falconer is just one of many stimuli in the environment. Animals are always going towards things that they want and avoiding things they perceive as aversive; if they didn't, they wouldn't survive at all in the wild. By "using operant conditioning," all a falconer is saying is that they are being conscious of the way they are manipulating behavior-consequence patterns and are actively analyzing the cause and effect. It doesn't matter if the falconer isn't analyzing these things or not, because the hawk is going to modify its behavior based on the consequences in the environment regardless of the falconer's intentions.

"Aversion training" (or aversion therapy, as it is used clinically with humans) is classical conditioning. There are no consequence contingencies in classical conditioning, and the animal behaves reflexively (without "choice). There is no real need to get too deep into this, but I bring it up only because habituation training, flooding, and counterconditioning, which falconers do use to tame birds, are technically not Operant Conditioning because there are no consequences involved.

For example, tethering a passage prairie falcon to a screen perch in the house to expose it to people while going about your day is NOT operant conditioning-- it is habituation. However, the subsequent bating away from the falconer as he approaches too closely DOES have an operant component to it. The antecedent is the falconer's approach, the behavior is bating away, and the consequence is being restrained by the jesses. If bating away from the falconer decreases, it can be generally speculated that bating is a positive punisher (it decreased bating frequency). However, the reduction in bating is likely also do to habituation. Once the falconer starts introducing tidbits when approaching the falconer, we can say that this conditioning paradigm is quite likely a combination of habituation, punishment, negative reinforcement, counterconditioning, and positive reinforcement. This is where falconers usually check out, because every little aspect of one's interaction must be evaluated over the course of observational data, and it seems overcomplicated and unnecessary for most of us.

One thing I've brought up before on this forum is that unfortunately, fear is generally accepted to be learned at the classical level, so the more a falconer causes a bird to bate (in general, broad terms) the more likely it is to become an ingrained habit, be negatively reinforced, or cause "sensitization" rather than habituation. Those few birds that are a bit high strung and "just aren't cut out for falconry" or are "bad birds" are products of this, in my opinion. This is one of the reasons that understanding operant conditioning can increase the number of birds that end up working out well for the falconer.

Anyway, I've probably gotten too deep already and am boring the masses, but I get private messages about this stuff all the time, so I figured I'd throw something out there for those who have the attention span for it.

Finally, the only thing I have to add to the screaming discussion is that in my opinion, intermittent schedules and boredom can have more to do with conditioned screaming than simply begging for food.

Dillon

dboyrollz76
09-08-2015, 06:35 PM
And worn out shoes! :D

Not to bad, I may have been wrong in my thought of her screaming at me like she would her parents for food. So if she screams, I pck her up spend time with her on the glove around the kids and stuff with no food being given. After about a week she makes a few peeps but the heavy screaming stop I get a shreek here and there but that's it. All at random!
When I got her to a responsive weight, she figured out fast that when she seen me it meant food. So I broke my schedule spent more time picking her up more without giving food. It seemed to work.

goshawkr
09-08-2015, 06:59 PM
Operant conditioning is really a one syllable language that means "YES!". It lets you tag a moment in time, and indicate that this is the behavior that led to the reward.


I mis-typed when I wrote this, and I realized that when I read Mark's response to this post of mine. Its not operant conditioning as a whole I was referring to here, its a key subset of OC which is the Conditioned Reinforcer which is almost always tied to a positive reward.

While I have not read about this anywhere, I guess I am also using a separate Conditioned Reinforcer which I tie to either a very mild positive punishment and/or to a mild negative reinforcement. I know there was a lot of work in the 1920s to the 40s, during the same time period Skinner was working on his theories, about how an animal would respond to a signal that had been tied to an unpleasant experience in such a way that it understood the bad thing was about to happen. Once the "Bad critter" signal is established, no other unpleasant experience is usually needed.

Animals, people included, have a much stronger motivation to learn from positive outcomes than to avoid negative ones, this is also a cornerstone to the basic theories of Operant Conditioning. But the current in vogue trend to do all work in a positive only manner is quite limiting.

For those who have been watching the thread that are not up on OC, the key element with the Conditioned Reinforcer is that it must meet these criteria:


Be a stimulus that the subject animal can perceive
Be very distinct so that it is not overlooked as noise (A quiet sound in a noisy room would not be good)
Be very short in duration to prevent ambiguity in what was going on when the signal was given.

I started using these two CR (one positive, one negative) about 12 years ago with a very stuborn horse I was working with, but I quickly found it worked just as well with my goshawks. My goal is always to use more positive than negative, and I set the bar with myself that if I am using my "bad hawk" signal more than 90% of the time I need to take a step back and lower my expectations.



2.Negative punishment: the act of taking something away that the animal likes. Removing food, toys, self or whatever the animal likes. When you take it away, the animal associates the previous act, that was unwanted, with the removal of the enjoyable item/food/toy/person/sight/etc. Repeated exposure to this punishment can eliminate many unwanted behaviors. Screaming is a tough one with this approach, as your presence is not very rewarding to most birds and removing the food will just make them scream more. This tenant works very well with social and pack animals. They respond very well to it and it is used predominately and with excellent success with canines.

Actually, screaming is instinctively used by raptors to summon their "provider" (in nature this is the parent) because they are communicating a need to be fed. So while the assertion that your presence is not very rewarding for most raptors is true in most cases, this is not broadly the case in most imprints and it is not the case with all screamers. Raptors are far more social than they are commonly believed to be.

Sometimes imprints scream just because they want company, or are bored. Once the behavior gets really entrenched, they scream just because it is what they do.

Removing your presence is a possible to use as a negative punishment in screaming cases, but its really tough unless it is done when screaming is infrequent. Its particularly tough because its quite common for the screaming to happen when they don't actually know you are there - its an instinctive way to make contact - to touch base. So if your hawk is in the mew and cant see you, but thinks you might be around, it will scream to summon you. It really wont do much good in this case for you to remove yourself as a punishment. Now, if, on the other hand, you are walking out to your mew and the bird gets excited and screams, turning immediately on your heels and walking the other way is something that would get the point across. Potentially anyway. I have don't this many times to ease aggression - by turning and leaving as soon as I see the aggressive glare.

Jeff Blower
09-17-2015, 02:17 AM
Interesting read here, I am especially interested in the feather technique mentioned above. I don't mind a bird that screams a bit. A couple of my falcons have been a bit noisy through the years. I had an eyess RT years ago that really made some noise, but have been close to a divorce over a consistently screaming goshawk. Those of you that have had experience with a few goshawk's know how relentless they can be. This year I have a new male gos wild pulled, that is completely and totally silent. It's sort of an experiment really to see if I can fly another gos and stay married. A good friend of mine raised him at his place until hard penned with daily trips in the car, exposure to kids, cars, dogs, the works. Then I brought him home. It's been pretty hot here so I'm just now starting to bring his weight down very very slowly. So far as I said he has not made a sound and I am hoping it stays at least close to that through getting him in the field. I think if I can get him on game right away it will increase the possibility of him staying silent, or at least as silent as a gos at flying weight can be.
Not a cure for screaming but an attempt to avoid it from the start. I'm not really sure how this is all going to work out in the long run as I said it's sort of an experiment but I am hoping it works so I can keep this little guy I really like this one.

Richard
10-08-2015, 03:50 PM
it is not luck in my opinion, a hawk that is giving it's full attention to hunting is in that zone and it will not scream as long as it is seeking prey. They do grow out of screaming provided they become hunters just like in the wild. When they are self actualized as they say they don't scream. Screaming is a proclamation of dependence, tid bit almost any hawk for a few days and make it dependent on you for food and it most likely will begin screaming. In pair bonding in wild adult hawks, often one of the adults will declare it is willing to become dependent and announce it by sounding some hunger screams. Signaling a desire to be presented food and signaling a willingness to copulate. IMHO

I've heard female goshawks in the wild food begging to the males. I mentioned it in my field notes and was told, "There is nothing in the literature about that, so we can't accept it...". Where does the "literature" come from!? I was a falconer on a goshawk study, and several of the others on the team just knew I was going to "taint" the study somehow.

Tom Smith
10-08-2015, 08:46 PM
I've heard female goshawks in the wild food begging to the males. I mentioned it in my field notes and was told, "There is nothing in the literature about that, so we can't accept it...". Where does the "literature" come from!? I was a falconer on a goshawk study, and several of the others on the team just knew I was going to "taint" the study somehow.

I have heard adults of several different species when establishing pair bonds sounding what we call hunger screams. I don't know about the literature but I have heard similar comments made by people that were supposed to be well read but weren't in reality. If a person is really well read they probably have come across a reference to the vocalizations in the literature somewhere and haven't recognized what it is saying.

Falconer54
11-05-2015, 11:51 PM
Wild hacked tiercel Peregrine, pulled with feathers. Hacked for 6 weeks, caught at least 12 things while at hack, now made gamehawk, catches most everyday, pigeons on his own at least once a week. He usually screams at least once a day at me, usually tends to scream more when his weight is up, or if he has a nice crop while sitting in yard. Can someone give me an explanation?