Issue 18 | May 2021 — Parrot

Issue 17 | November 2020 — Parrot

Chickens and Roosters…As Pets?

Chickens are the most widely found bird in the world, and there are only a few countries where they do not live. With an estimated six to eight chickens per person, they are also the most populous bird.1 Nevertheless, perhaps because chickens are typically perceived...

By Pauline Hruska

Pandemic Poultry Purchasing

Poultry purchasing during the pandemic has brought attention to the need for animal behaviour consultants to have a basic level of understanding of chicken behaviour. Many new chicken owners would benefit from reputable behavioural expertise and resources during this...

By Maisie Wake

Issue 16 | July 2020 — Parrot

Experiencing Natural Encounters, Inc. as a Professional Animal Trainer

I applied to the Natural Encounters Inc. (NEI) professional animal training course in April. I spent the rest of the year eagerly anticipating the course. I figured January was a great time to head to Florida, especially since I’m from cold Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I...

By Robin Horemans KPA-CTP

Petting and Stroking Parrots

Many of our clients have been told not to pet their parrots. Don’t touch your bird here, don’t touch your bird there…but of course they (and we!) still want to, and can’t always resist. This leaves the question: What can we do, and what should we tell our behavior...

By Shauna Roberts, CPBC

Issue 14 | April 2020 — Parrot

Issue 13 | October 2019 — Parrot

Helping Pet Store Parrots Live Their Best Lives

A parrot is an iconic part of a pet store; many people have strong memories of visiting pet stores as children and being amazed by a big red macaw, or delighted by flocks of colorful lovebirds. Even now, many companion birds are bought after a visit to a store that...

By Adrianne Mock, CPBC

Issue 12 | July 2019 — Parrot

A Bird, Her Game, and What They Taught Me About Training

I have an Aru Eclectus hen named Cah’ya (pronounced “cha-HI-uh”) who invented her own game. In this game, she stands on my arm and slowly leans far over to one side. I am then supposed to lean to the opposite side. She waits for me to do so. Then she slowly leans over...

By Emily Strong, CPBT-KA

Issue 11 | April 2019 — Parrot

The Benefits of Teaching a Parrot Tricks

Living with an intelligent exotic animal like a parrot can be an absolute joy. It can also be quite challenging trying to meet the complex needs of these marvelous sentient beings. The most effective and humane, and least intrusive, way to interact with your bird is...

By Patricia K. Anderson, PhD

Issue 10 | February 2019 — Parrot

Calgary Bird School: An Obedience Class for Companion Parrots

In a little city in Canada, owners are meeting once a month for a dog training class. Except there are no dogs in this class, only parrots! Birds in class learn foundation behaviours like “Step Up,” “Target” and “Station.” They’re introduced to marker training and...

By Robin Horemans, KPA-CTP

Teach Your Bird to Play Family Games!

In my childhood household, you weren’t an actual human until you could play the card game Rummy. Our family comprised two parents and four kids, and my poor youngest brother only became fully and properly recognized when he was finally able to hold some cards, count,...

By Jennifer Cunha

Issue 9 | October 2018 — Parrot

Diet and Behavior in Companion Parrots

When we discuss nutrition, we usually focus on its impact on physical health. However, brain health is just as important. Science has proven that an animal’s diet must include all essential nutrients or both physical and brain health may suffer. If a balanced,...

By Pamela Clark, CVT

Calling All Crows Part 2: Social Learning and Novel Objects

In my last column, I talked about how I trained the crows that visited my garden to come to me on cue, using food to reward them for visiting. Now that I had “my” crows reliably visiting the garden and could attract them whenever I wanted, it seemed like a good time...

By Camille King, EdD, CDBC, ACAAB


If you have ever shared your home with a feathered friend, you more than likely understand why I added two exclamation points at the end of that word. For us as humans, screaming is one of the most annoying, painful, and downright unacceptable natural behaviors of...

By Lisa Desatnik, CPBC, CPDT-KA

Issue 8 | July 2018 — Parrot

Is a Busy Parrot Really a Happy Parrot?  

As bird owners, we are quickly taught that toys are super-important for parrots. We need to keep them busy to avoid boredom and stereotypical behavior, and to keep them healthy. Keeping parrots occupied is indeed an important part of bringing them in to our homes, but...

By Stephanie Edlund, CPBC

Attracting Parrot Behavior Clients Before They Need You

As a certified parrot behavior consultant and certified professional bird trainer setting up a practice, one of my first impressions was that people seem to be more reluctant to spend money on a bird than on a dog. Experience a serious issue with a dog and most people...

By Debbie Foster, CPBT-KA, CPBC

Issue 6 | April 2018 — Parrot

The Internet, Exercise, and Parrots

On the Internet, you may come across all manner of fun, interesting, and sometimes zany things that parrots can do. It can be funny to watch, or just interesting to learn. Kudos for continuing to research and discovering new ways to improve your birds’ lives! We...

By Robin Horemans, KPA-CTP

Issue 5 | October 2017 — Parrot

Companion Bird Awareness Month – Promoting Companion Bird Education

Before I was a Certified Parrot Behavior Consultant, I started promoting companion bird education while volunteering at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) at Nevins Farm in Methuen, Mass.. When I began volunteering back in 2010,...

By Sheila Blanchette, CPBC

Kokoda’s Diary Part 2

This is a continuation of the counter-conditioning diary I started last issue. I am working with my Eclectus parrot, Kokoda, who I would like to teach to happily accept wearing a harness. In the last issue, we had made a start on the process of gradually introducing...

By Lee Stone, CPDT-KA

Issue 4 | July 2017 — Parrot

Counter-Conditioning a Parrot: Kokoda’s Video Diary

Kokoda is a 16-month-old female Eclectus Parrot. She was purchased from an Eclectus Specialist breeder in New South Wales and sent to me in Western Australia at around 14 weeks of age, after she was fully weaned and fledged. Kokoda is very cheeky, a total clown who...

By Lee Stone, CPDT-KA

Birds Need to Fly

One of the benefits of training with positive reinforcement is eagerness in training. Getting an experienced animal to come to you or stay with you is not usually a problem. Yet the pendulum swings both ways. We must train our animals what they should do instead of...

By Greg Glendell

Spotlight on Research: Parrot Enrichment

This issue, we caught up with Joanna Berger, who recently graduated with Distinction from  the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine. As part of her Master’s project, Joanna traveled to Virginia to work with a parrot sanctuary called...

By Joanna Berger

Issue 3 | April 2017 — Parrot

Ethological Considerations in the Care of Companion Parrots

Parrots (Psittacines) are the most popular companion birds. However, most species are not domesticated, and they retain the behavioural traits seen in the species in the wild. Many conditions in which they are kept as pets are counter to the conditions to which they...

By Greg Glendell

Issue 2 | February 2017 — Parrot

The Human-Avian Bond

According to the 2015-2016 American Pet Products Association survey, 6.1 million American households own an estimated 14.3 million birds, making birds the fourth most common pet following dogs, cats, and fish. Despite the popularity of birds as pets, there have been...

By Patricia K. Anderson, PhD

Rehabilitating an Umbrella Cockatoo

I adopted a male cockatoo from an animal shelter in February 2007. His name was Charlie, and he had obviously been neglected physically, emotionally, and socially. At that time, his diet consisted solely of Cheerios. He was plucking his feathers and fearful of people....

By Debbie Winkler

Issue 1 | October 2016 — Parrot

Choices, Not Labels Help Birds Learn

Dreyfuss, my pionus, is a bird who—if I’d let her—would spend much of her day sitting next to me or on me, frequently with her head down for rubs. So why was it that this sweet girl would lunge at my arm and even bite it, whenever I’d put my arm in front of her...

By Lisa Desatnik

Issue 20 | June 2016 — Parrot

Chicken Enrichment

The benefits of enrichment for chickens Providing enrichment to our dogs and cats is becoming a common practice for most pet owners. However, all animals can benefit from enrichment, including our feathered friends! Backyard chickens are becoming increasingly popular...

By Blaze Fulbrook