As a boarder and groomer, I deal with a lot of other people’s gliders who often are not bonded to their own owners, let alone comfortable with me handling them. In lieu of months of bonding time to earn their trust, I’ve developed a lot of tricks to manipulate gliders without using force. (Gliders just laugh at me when I try to force them to do anything).
Between these 4 luring tricks, I can capture about 95% of gliders when they are unlawfully exploring. These lures are live mealworms, feather chases, familiar pouch, and foreign glider urine.
1. Live Mealworms
Really any favorite treat can work, but nothing works as well as live mealworms on a worm-eating glider. I suspect the worms are an addictive narcotic to them because they sure act like crack addicts when they hear the rustle of the worm bag. My gliders all know the sound and will come running from across the room, and boarders learn it within a week. Even strange gliders will come about 2 feet toward me to get a worm from my fingers, and after being freely given two or three worms, I can hold a worm over my arm and they will walk onto me to take it (usually).
It is worth treat training your gliders to a sound by always making a sound before and during treat givings. My two sounds are the rustle of the bag of worms and ringing my fingers over the cage bars. A dog clicker is another great option, or a whistle, a tongue click, their names, really anything. Gliders will come running to you for a treat when they hear it.
The worm trick fails most often on gliders who do not eat worms, extremely scared gliders, gliders exploring in a new place, and assertive gliders who are aware of the presence of a non-bonded glider nearby.
The worm trick works best on food motivated gliders (i.e. the fatties), calm or slightly nervous gliders, gliders who are hiding, sitting still, or pouched, or after about 30 minutes of running around without food/water.
Note: avoid worms grown in corn bedding due to aflatoxins. Grubco and rainbowmealworms are online worm delivery sites you can get them from.
2. Feather Chase
Most but not all gliders will chase a feather and play tug of war with it. This is not only a fun bonding game, but it also helps strengthen the chasing instinct that can be leveraged to lead a glider wherever you want them to go.
When a glider is hiding under a cage, just wave a feather in front of their nose and then drag it up your leg, the glider will often run right after it in mindless pursuit.
Feathers are also a great way to keep a glider occupied in their cage when you have to open the doors and don’t want escapes.
Feathers can also lure a glider out of a cage and onto your arm or shoulder, or keep them occupied while you transport them from their cage to a tent/travel carrier.
Feathers fail most often on extremely scared gliders, very calm gliders, and gliders who have never chased feathers before.
Feathers work best on skittery gliders, gliders in active explore mode, and gliders who already love to chase feathers.
Fresh feathers draw more attention, the gliders want to crack the rib bone and chew on it. Once the ribbone has been fully filleted and dissected, it becomes much less effective at drawing a chase. Long Macaw tail feathers have worked the best, flimsy peacock feathers were a complete fail.
3. Clean or Familiar-Scented Pouch
Holding up a pouch in front of an escaped glider has a good chance of luring them into the pouch to hide. Treat laden, deeper pouches with darker inner linings and small blankies make the best lures (too many blankies will deter if they cannot see whether the pouch is occupied).
Hiding your fingers is kind of important to this trick’s success. One way to do that is to mount the pouch on the end of a wooden dowel with an eyebolt and a C clip. This lets a glider who is nervous of you get into their familiar pouch without having to brave nearness to you.
This trick works best in bright lights and chilly air. This trick works best on passive, pouchy gliders, gliders who are extremely scared to slightly nervous, gliders in a territory marked by unfamiliar gliders, and after about 30 minutes of panic driven exploration (especially effective after a miss-landed jump for some reason).
4. Foreign Glider Scent
Gliders are super attracted to sniffing strange glider pee. This trick is my secret to fooling visitors into thinking Im some kind of magic glider whisperer. I have a glider jacket that is soaked in 17+ different glider urines; several are from intact males, and several are from possibly ovulating females. Its why I can often handle a glider easier than their owners can, as they often calmly sit on my shoulder sniffing and nibbling on a pee stain. And its the best way to recover an assertive or aggressive glider escapee.
If you only own one cageful of gliders the. You should find a glider friend and ask to switch stinky pouches with them. Do not wash the stink off the pouch they give you, maybe even store it in a ziplock to preserve that foul aroma better.
A foreign scented pouch is the most reliable way to lure a glider that has balked at the first 3 tricks, a glider that is booty dancing while they explore (scent marking), an intact male, an ovulating female (no, you would not know if she is ovulating), or an aggressive/assertive glider.