Avian Expert Articles

Jennifer M. Cunha, Esq.

Jennifer Cunha is an attorney who formerly taught inner-city children how to read. With that experience, she began teaching her cockatoos phonics and reading skills through a modified approach to systematic phonics instruction. She uses strong conditioning techniques to build vocabulary, and has taught her parrots to correlate phonics to vocabulary development for purposes of enrichment and communication.

Jennifer collaborated with the University of Miami to investigate parrots’ phonics skills, and their partnership has resulted in groundbreaking research in animal cognition that has been submitted for peer review and publication. "The IAABC Journal" posted a fascinating article by Jennifer titled "Can Parrots Learn To Read?" that details how this came about.

Jennifer is co-owner of MyReadingPets, an organization dedicated to parrot communication and literacy, and is the author of Consenting Birds: Teach Your Parrot to Communicate Yes and No and Parrot ABCs: Teach Your Bird to Read. Follow the learning adventures of her parrots Ellie and Isabelle on her Facebook page.

Articles by Jennifer:

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Could a Pet Parrot Be Happy in Captivity?

Is it possible for a pet parrot to be as happy in captivity as they would be in the wild? Is parrot ownership more like prison … or could it be like a happy, perpetual childhood experience? As a bird mom to three cockatoos and a parrotlet, it is a question with which I wrestle […]

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Teach Your Bird to Communicate “Yes” and “No”

We like to make our own choices when it comes to what we eat, what we do for entertainment and everything in between. What if we could extend this power to our parrots — give them the ability to communicate what they want and what they don’t want? Here’s a step-by-step approach to teaching your bird to communicate “Yes” or “No.”

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