After session 4 you will know we’re big fans of taking whistles with us when we go free flying but maybe not for the reason you would initially think. We would always recommend taking a Fox 40 or Storm whistle with you when freeflying, they’re relatively cheap and easy to get hold of and very loud. There are a few benefits to using a whistle with you which we will discuss below.

The main reason to take a whistle when freeflying is they can be used in an emergency situation when a Bird of Prey is getting too close for comfort. A sharp blow of the whistle can shock a Bird of Prey mid chase, giving your bird a higher chance to escape. We would recommend desensitising your bird to the whistle by blowing it quietly in house and slowly getting louder until they’re comfortable with a harsh blow. If your bird isn’t desensitised we would still recommend taking and using the whistle as it’s always better to recover your bird from a spook than allowing the Bird of Prey to chase.

Whistles can also be amazing to use as a recall que if you train your bird to recall with the whistle. This can be done similarly to how you train regular recall but simply swapping a verbal recall que for the whistle. 

A way we regularly use a whistle is as a contact call, this is helpful for birds that flock call a lot as you can use the whistle to call back to them. Some species, such as cockatiels, navigate mostly by sound so using a contact call is incredibly useful. Using the whistle in this way can also be very helpful if your bird flies off, personally I can never do a regular whistle with my mouth in stressful situations so the storm whistle helps me a lot. You can train your bird to contact call to the whistle in the house by sitting for 5 minutes a day blowing the whistle whenever they flock call, until you can blow the whistle and they flock call back. 

To summarise, whistles are incredibly useful for free flight, whether you choose to use it for recall, contact calls or just as an emergency whistle for Birds of Prey. We would always recommend you have a whistle handy and easily accessible whenever you’re free flying.

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