Sandry's Birds :: Manual

This page is the main birds manual. If you have one of the static birds such as the Blue Tit drinking from the Milk Bottle, you might find that the "Static Birds Manual" page is more useful to you.

Manual Version 1.3

Your new bird can sing, peck the ground, look all around, turn, hop around on the ground or other surface, or sleep. He has ten different songs and thousands of combinations of movements from which he chooses at random. You can name him (or, of course, her) and you can wear him on your shoulder where he will entertain you with song.
The bird can be instructed to hop around freely, stay in a certain area, stand still, and sleep. He will be equally at home hopping around in the garden, riding on your shoulder, or standing on a wall or branch.

Getting started
Rez your bird. After a few seconds, he will start to sing, look around, and peck the ground. This is called static mode. In static mode, your bird can move sing, peck and look around, but he cannot hop around. To allow him to move around you will need to tell him to be active. You do this by saying his name and then active. When he is new, his name is Robin or Canary (or the name of whichever sort of bird he is), so you would say:

robin active


canary active

If you want him to stop moving around you can say:

robin static

and he will stop hopping but continue to look around, peck and sing. Use this mode when you want him to perch somewhere and sing. If you want him just to stand still and be quiet, you can say:

robin passive

Naming Your Bird
Name your bird by saying: <oldname> name <newname> Where <oldname> is his current name and <newname> is the name that you want him/her to have. Don't type the pointed brackets. They're just there to show you that you have to fill in something suitable for your bird. For example:

robin name Robyn


canary name Artie

From here on we're going to use Wilson as our example bird. You can replace Wilson with your bird's name in any of the following examples. By default, your bird will not display his name, but you can tell him to show or hide it like this:

wilson name on

which will cause him to display his name over his head, and:

wilson name off

which will make him hide it again. You can use any alphabetical characters, upper or lowercase, for your bird's name and you can also use a hyphen.

Commands and Controls
The bird has no touch-controlled menu and no HUD. All of the controls are typed commands like those that I've just been describing. The important commands and controls are described and illustrated below and all of the commands are listed and described later in the document. When you touch (click on) the bird, he will choose a random action and perform it. It might be that he just makes a small move, like tilting his head to one side or it might be that he chooses one of the longer actions or songs. When the bird is attached to you, he ignores touches from everyone except you. Your bird will recognise as little as the first two characters of his name, so you can say:

wi active

and he will know that you are speaking to him. You can also use pets or birds instead of the bird's name and all of your birds (and later other animals made by Sandry) will hear and act upon the command at the same time. For example:

pets passive


birds volume 5

Your bird will hear you speak in regular chat (channel 0) and also on channel 1. So you could say, for example:

/1 wilson active stay 3

and your bird will hear you, but the avatars around you won't. Whenever you speak to your bird and he hears your command, he will respond with a single dot in owner-only chat. If you say something that he doesn't understand, he will attempt to tell you what it was.

Keeping your Bird in a set area
You can limit the area in which your bird moves around with the stay<range>command.
For example:

wilson stay 5

which will make your bird stay in a 5 metre area. The bird sees this area as an invisible box with 5 metres (or however many you specify) on each side. When you give the stay command, the bird will calculate the box with himself in the centre.
To release the stay setting, tell the bird to roam, like this:

wilson roam

Wearing your Bird
Your bird attaches by default to your right shoulder although there is no reason why he couldn't attach to your left shoulder or even your forearm or hand when you're sitting or in another pose or animation.
If your bird is set to activemode when you attach him, he will automatically set himself to static mode so that he can continue to animate and sing, but so that he cannot hop around. If he is set to passive mode, he will remain passive.
If other people touch or give commands to the bird whilst he is attached to you, he will ignore them.

The Volume Command
You can adjust the volume of your bird's song using the volume command.
You say wilson volume <setting> where setting is a value from 0 to 10.
For example:

wilson volume 5

0 is silent and 10 is full volume.

You can also use the quiet and vocal commands.
wilson quietsets the volume to 0 and
wilson vocalrestores it to whatever the previous volume was.

Drink Modes
The birds have a set of animations for drinking from a bird bath, but they are not enabled by default because they would make the bird's beak and face go inside the surface of the bird table or the ground where he is standing. You can enable the drinking animations when you put your bird onto the bird bath by saying: wilson drink on
If you later move him to a different place and wish to turn them off again, you can say: wilson drink off

Sleep and Awake You can tell your bird to go to sleep by saying wilson sleep. He will then stand or will close his eyes, hunch over slightly, and tuck one leg up underneath him. The bird is set to passive when you give this command so he will not do anything until you give a command such as awakeor activeto wake him up again.

Getting Help
Say wilson helpto get a list of commands that your bird knows. The commands are described later in this document.
Say wilson modeto get him to tell you his current mode settings.
Say wilson manualto see the full manual on the web site.

Command Reference
This is a list of the commands that your bird will recognise and a brief description of what they do. The commands marked as [Owner Only] may only be used by the owner and are ignored if someone else gives them.
active- Sets active mode. The bird can hop around, sing, peck the ground, look around. [Owner Only]
awake - Wakes the bird from sleep, making him stand again. If the bird was previously in active or static mode, the mode is restored. [Owner Only]
drink < yes | on | no | off > - sets the bird's drinking mode on or off.
drink1, drink2, drink3, drink4 - Tells the bird to do one of the four drinking animations.
headleft - Tells the bird to stand with his head tilted slightly to the left.
headright - Tells the bird to stand with his head tilted slightly to the right.
help - Tells the bird to say the command list in chat.
lookleft - Tells the bird to stand and look to the left.
lookright - Tells the bird to stand and look to the right.
manual The bird opens the web page with the current version of the Owner's Manual.
mode - Tells the bird to say the current activity and stay settings in chat.
name <newname> - tells the bird to set his name to <newname> [Owner Only]
name < on | off > - Tells the bird to show/hide his name above his body. [Owner Only]
passive - Sets passive mode. The bird will stand still in the last pose that he was in and will not move except to blink. [Owner Only]
peck1, peck2, peck3, peck4 - Tells the bird to do one of the four pecking animations.
ping - Tells the bird to shout out his grid reference.
quiet - Sets the volume level for the bird's songs to 0, so that they are not heard. If the bird is in active or static mode, the bird will still choose the songs, but will only do the animations. [Owner Only]
roam - Releases a stay setting. [Owner Only]
search1, search2, search3, search4 - Tells the bird to do one of the searching (looking around on the ground) animations.
sing1, sing2, sing3, sing4, sing5, sing6, sing7, sing8, sing9, sing10 - tells the bird to sing one of his songs*.
sleep Puts the bird into sleep mode. He closes his eyes, hunches over slightly and tucks one leg up underneath him. The bird is set to passive when you give this command. [Owner Only]
sleep2 Puts the bird into sleep mode. He closes his eyes and nestles down so that his body is close over his feet. The bird is set to passive when you give this command. [Owner Only]
stand - Tells the bird to stand up and look straight ahead.
static - Sets static mode. The bird will sing, search and peck, but he will not hop around. [Owner Only]
stay <range> - Sets a stay area of <range>. The bird draws an imaginary box of <range> metres per side and stays inside it. [Owner Only]
turn <direction> - Tells the bird to turn and face <direction>.
Options for direction are the major compass points: N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW
Plus l(for left) r(for right) back(turns to face opposite direction) and toward (turns to face the speaker).
Note: if the bird is attached to your avatar, toward does not work, use front instead.
volume <volume> - Sets the volume for the bird's songs. Values for volume may be between 0 and 10. [Owner Only]
vocal - Restores original volume for birdsong after the quiet command has been used. [Owner Only]
* The number of distinct songs may vary from bird to bird. For example, the Robin has 10 different songs/calls as does the Canary, but the Blue Tit only has 5 distinct calls.

Other Commands

These are not intended for everyday use, but they are included here for completeness and so that third party developers can build houses, nests, or perches that could interact with the birds.
pose <pose name> Tells the bird to adopt the pose named.
sound <key> Tells the bird to play the sound identified by <key>
wait <period> Tells the bird to wait for the number of seconds defined by period.

List of poses

Q. What's this small wooden stump for?
A. It's just a perch. It was what I used when I was making the bird. It doesn't perform any special function.

Q. When I put my bird on the ground, he floats too far above it. How do I make him walk on the ground like the one in your garden or the one in your video?
A. Just move him down a little closer and let him go again. When you get him fairly close he will take over and automatically adjust to the ground level himself.

Q. When I drop my bird (right click when he's on my shoulder and choose drop) he doesn't go to the ground. I've told him to be active but he just hops around in the air. Why is this and what can I do?
A. The bird is not physical, so when you drop him, he just floats in the air. Right click on him and choose edit, then lower him down towards the ground. You don't have to get him perfectly in position, but you do need to get him fairly close (about 0.25 metres). When you get him close enough, he will take over and adjust to the ground level himself.

Q. Can I give the bird a list of commands?
A. Yes, you can! I use a simple example of this all the time. One of the most common things I say to the bird when I rez him is: wilson active stay 3

Q. How many moves and songs does the bird have?
A. The number of distinct songs varies from bird to bird. For example the Robin and Canary have 10 distinct songs/calls , but the Blue Tit only has 5. All birds will recognise the sing1 to sing10 commands, but in some birds they are duplicated.
Each bird also has4 pecking actions and 4 looking around actions. In static mode, the bird can choose between these and each of his 22 regular poses and up to three at a time. So that makes thousands of possible combinations. When you set him to active mode and he is hopping around and turning here and there, there seem to be even more combinations.

Q. Why is it that sometimes when I tell my bird to do something, he does a bunch of other things before he responds to me?
A. When he is in active or static mode, he chooses things to do himself. The things he chooses are put into a queue. He has to finish the queue before he can respond to you.

Q. Why does my bird not move around after I rez him? He was active when I took him to inventory but when I rez him he is statc and his stay setting is gone.
A. The birds always set themselves to static when they are rezzed and remove old stay settings. This is because the bird does not know that he is in the same place as before, so he assumes that he has not been rezzed here before and plays it safe by going into static mode.

Q. I just moved my bird in edit to a new place and now he just stands and sings. But when I ask him his mode, he says active. What's gone wrong?
A. Was he on stay? If you move him when he is on stay, he may think that he has gone beyond his stay boundaries and may not be able to find a direction in which he thinks he can move. Either tell him to roam or just set a new stay range and he should start to move again.

Known Issues
1. If you shift-drag the bird in edit to make a copy of him, the copy will not be able to pose/animate. This is a feature of how SL/LSL works and for the current implementation of these birds, it is not something that I can control. If you wish to rez a second copy of the bird please rez it from inventory. If you wish to wear a second copy, please detach the one that you are wearing and make a copy in inventory.