Henrik Futtrup: Training Individual Flocks to Recall in a Aviary

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Episode - 16  ​May 2020

Host: Barbara Heidenreich

Guest: ​Henrik Futtrup

​What is your dream behavior to train? I have a feeling for many bird keepers it just might be this one! Imagine having a mixed species aviary in which each flock of birds recalls to a different sound and shifts into their own holding area. This dream is reality for Henrik Futtrup a keeper and trainer at the Copenhagen Zoo. In this podcast he not only shares the steps he took to train the behavior but also important details about antecedent arrangement, species specific considerations and how this behavior really paid off in an emergency.  And in truth, this concept can be applied to any mixed species habitats…not just birds. I also answer one of your questions about how to train quick response to the cue when training for recall…. especially when there are lots of distractions.


​Videos ​of Aviary Recall Training in Action at ​Copenhagen Zoo:

​Dalmatian pelicans recall and shifting into holding area of the lake at Copenhagen Zoo

​Black necked stilts recall and shift into holding area in mixed species aviary at Copenhagen Zoo

​Flamingos (adults and chicks) recall and shift into holding area in mixed species aviary at Copenhagen Zoo

​Black faced ibis recall and shift into holding area in mixed species aviary at Copenhagen Zoo

​Inca tern recall and shift into holding area in mixed species aviary at Copenhagen Zoo

​​Scarlet ibis recall and shift into holding area in mixed species aviary at Copenhagen Zoo


Guest Bio:

​Henrik Futtrup started working in Copenhagen Zoo in 1999 in the carnivore section. His first t​raining experiences were with wolves and bears. He later moved into the marine mammal section to work with his mentor and animal training coordinator for the zoo, Annette Pedersen. In 2014 Henrik became responsible for the mixed species aviary as well as the Bird Cliffs exhibit. This is when his journey into bird training began. Recall and shifting began with training the Black necked stilts to improve animal welfare during winter by allowing them opportunities to enjoy time outside on mild days knowing the team could shift them back inside.


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