Free Flight Week - Part 2


Session 1

“Liftoff! The Transition between Ground and Sky” – Amy Fennell (Training Supervisor, Natural Encounters, Inc.)

It’s time to take a closer look at those first few flights and how to set your birds and staff up for success when you’re ready to take to the sky. We’ll discuss in more detail the prerequisite behaviors needed for safe free-flight, the different methods of mitigating the inherent challenges involved, and how to navigate those first crucial sessions of being outside for the first time. Along the way, we’ll touch on the benefits (and challenges) of building strong relationships, problem-solving bumps along the runway, and operationalizing what it looks like when things go a little sideways.

Session 2

“Turbulence Ahead: What to Do When You Hit an Air Pocket" – Ari Bailey (Show Manager, Natural Encounters, Inc.), Katelyn Ferringer (Show Supervisor, Natural Encounters, Inc.)

Now that your birds are in the air, how do you keep them on course? Once you are out and flying, what do you need to continue on a path to success? How do we measure success? These are all important questions because fly offs will happen, you will have to compete with some strong and enticing reinforcers that may keep your birds from doing the behavior you expected, and the unexpected will happen. This all becomes even more challenging when you are flying groups of birds outside together. This presentation will cover these topics as well as dive into what it takes to make sure you and your fellow trainers have the skills, knowledge, and experience to be flexible with the unexpected moments that arise.

Session 3

NEI TEC in Conversation – Steve Martin (President, Natural Encounters, Inc.), Chris Jenkins (Chief Operating Officer, Natural Encounters, Inc.), Amy Fennell, Ari Bailey, and Katelyn Ferringer

Join us as NEI TEC faculty members share and discuss their thoughts on the topics presented in the previous sessions. The panelists answer questions presented to them by the attendees.