Avian Expert Articles

Laura Doering

Laura Doering is the former editor of Bird Talk magazine and Birds USA magazine. She has authored a multitude of articles covering all aspects of pet birds and their care, and has had the opportunity to interview world-renowned avian behaviorists, veterinarians, aviculturists, researchers and conservationists.

Her journey in the bird world has taken her to the remote areas of Brazil to see hyacinth macaws in their native habitat, as well as on bird-watching trips to Spain, Puerto Rico and Mexico. She is especially thankful to have met so many passionate pet bird owners throughout her years at the helm of Bird Talk magazine.

Her interest in pet birds started at the age of 9, when she saved up her penny collection to buy Elvis, her cockatiel companion of 22 years. Little did she know then that her love of birds would some day lead to a career in which being chased by a cockatoo during a photo-shoot, having a 5-minute phone conversation with a reader’s African grey parrot, hand-wrestling a caique to get her pilfered ring back and having her work desk “re-decorated” by a visiting Amazon parrot were all just another day at the office. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Davis.

Articles by Laura:

spectacled Amazon on perch in cage

5 Ways You’re Ruining Your Bird’s Day

Don’t let life with you be a bore for your feathered companion. Use these tips to bring joy to your bird’s day!

African grey parrot on perch leaning forward

A Microchip Can Bring Your Lost Bird Home

The story of Nigel, the African grey parrot that returned home speaking Spanish, is a good example of how a microchip can facilitate a happy reunion for lost pet.

Pacific parrotlets, pocket parrot, tiny parrot

Five Types of Bird Friends

We all need friends. And life is even better if a few of your friends have some of the same interests as you. Better yet is knowing others who share in your love and appreciation of birds. Check out these five types of friends you might buddy up with as you navigate life with a feathered companion.

spectacled Amazon parrot in cage

Tips To Manage Your Pet Bird’s Mess

In addition to tried-and-true cage maintenance products, there are additional ways to maintain a clean and healthy environment for your feather companion. With some simple pre-planning and regular maintenance, you’ll be able to put your feet up and enjoy more one-on-one time with your bird.

African grey parrot on perch leaning forward

Pet Birds Vs. Dogs

Here’s a fun look at some of the advantages bird companions have to canine companions and vice versa.

spectacled Amazon on perch in cage

Give Your Bird A Clean Cage This Summer

Here are three things you can do for your feathered companion to improve his health and well being, as well as add some summer-inspired fun to his day.

close up of cockatiel face

Spotlight on Female Parrots

Female birds tend to fly under the radar, so to speak, when compared to their flashier male counterparts. In many bird species, including parrots, the males have the more eye-catching colors. It’s time, however, to give our feathered girls time in the spotlight.

Hyacinth macaw

New World Parrots: Conures, Amazons, Macaws & More

Parrots can be categorized according to Old World psittacines and New World psittacines. Do you know if your parrots are “Team Old World” or “Team New World”?

image of North America from space; text says Earth Day April 22

7 Ways You Can Help Birds & The Environment

Here’s an annual event that bird lovers can help celebrate — Earth Day, which takes place on April 22 each year. In honor of Earth Day, here are seven ways bird lovers can make a difference in our own neighborhoods and abroad.

close up of face of orange-winged Amazon parrot

Avoid These Feeding Mistakes

There are many pet birds that only eat one or two types of foods, but that’s because they haven’t been offered much else or the foods offered don’t appeal to them. Here are four ways we can sabotage our birds’ appetites and how to avoid them.

cover of the book Oh Say Can You Say?

Books For Birds

Nursery-rhyme books and others that cater to a young audience also make great reading material for parrots — these books are designed to be read out loud and with extreme silliness. Dr. Seuss books certainly fit the bill!

two lovebirds on branch

Lovebirds As Pets

No other companion pet has a name quite as endearing as a lovebird. The lovebird’s genus, Agapornis, is the words “love” and “bird” joined together — agape is Greek for “love” and ornis is Greek for “bird.”

Umbrella cockatoo

Tips To Get Your Parrot To Be Quiet

Does covering the cage or running toward your bird to tell him/her to quiet down … or screaming back … sound familiar? If you find yourself in need of a little quiet time and your parrot is simply not getting it, here are tips and tricks to stop the screech.

Hyacinth macaw, blue macaw perched on arm indoors

Your Pet Bird Will Love The New You!

A new year is upon us and with that comes another set of New Year’s resolutions (or a re-do of last year’s!) While there’s plenty you can do for your pet bird to make the new year great, here are three things you can do for yourself that will also reap benefits for your pet bird.

Cockatiel face

Pet Birds & Children

Find out the real reasons why budgies and cockatiels can make wonderful pets for children, as well as all the wrong reasons for bringing a small bird into your home.

two red-bellied parrots perched on branch; red-belly

Pet Birds & Other Birds

It’s easy to assume that birds must like other birds. But before you buddy up two birds consider that fact that many avian veterinarians treat bird patients that were injured by other bird housemates.

Indian ringneck parakeet standing on colorful cloth

Kick Start Your Bird’s Day

Spending more time with your bird and serving a healthy breakfast are just two ways to start your bird’s day off right.

Blue-fronted Amazon, blue front, Amazon parrot

“Theft-Proof” Your Pet Bird

Pet parrots can be prime targets of pet theft because of their perceived monetary value. Here are some steps pet bird owners can take to “theft-proof” their beloved companions:

sun conure

Pet Bird Owner Summer Safety Tips

But before you fire up your backyard grill or unroll the pool or spa cover, take a moment to see what steps you need to make to ensure your bird’s safety and well-being all summer long.

yellow-crowned Amazon parrot

5 Fun Ways To Pamper Your Pet Parrot

Use these five fun suggestions to create Pampered Parrot Days that are all about your feathered friends. They deserve to be treated as VIPs, too!

green-cheeked conure, green cheek, Pyrrura conure

Don’t Leave These In Your Pet Bird’s Cage

Cage safety starts with not just what you put in your bird’s cage, but what you don’t leave behind.

cockatiel perched on hand

Cockatiel Sounds Explained

Chirps, warbles, whistles, squawks, cheeps, and more are noises and sounds pet cockatiels make. Find out what your cockatiel is trying to say.

Swift Parrots & Orange-Bellied Parrots: Rare Migrators

Almost all parrots are non-migratory birds, that is, they do not fly to a different climate during specific times of the year. There are two parrot species, however, that do migrate in the truest sense of the word — the swift parrot (Lathamus discolor) and the orange-bellied parrot (Neophema chrysogaster).

origami paper bird, recycle bird, go green

Pet Bird Owners Can Find New Uses For These Recyclables

From using newspaper as cage liner, cardboard as chew toys, to wadded-up paper to hide foraging treats, we bird owners can be quite creative in our thriftiness. Here are a few other items that can get a second life before going into the recycle bin.

What Liz Wilson Taught Us

I had the pleasure of working with many avian experts throughout my years as editor of Bird Talk magazine, but none was quite like avian behavioral consultant Liz Wilson.

Liz with black Palm Cockatoo

Renowned Companion Parrot Behaviorist Liz Wilson Passes Away

The bird community lost a special member when long-time parrot advocate and well-respected author Liz Wilson, CVT, passed away on April 13, 2013. Liz was the voice behind the popular parrot behavior column “Parrot Psychology,” which ran in Bird Talk magazine for many years and, up until her passing, was a monthly feature on LafeberCares.com.

Nanday conure, black-hooded parakeet

Pet Bird Enrichment: Four Great Uses For Newspaper

To many pet bird owners, yesterday’s news is today’s cage liner. In addition to the long-held practice of lining the bottom of the birdcage with newspaper, here are four other ways to get the most bang out of your newspaper subscription buck.

mini macaw, yellow collared macaw, macaw parrot

9 Things Never To Do Around Your Pet Bird

While most responsible pet bird owners strive to make their birds feel part of the family and offer them plenty of one-on-one time whenever feasible, there are times when your bird should perch elsewhere.

Budgerigar on wicker chair

Furniture Fixes For Pet Bird Owners

Here is a look at furniture types that might be vulnerable to the feathered kind, and what you can do about it.

Presidents & Their Pet Parrots

Can you imagine a parrot perched in the White House? It’s probably happened at some point during our country’s history; after all, some of our past presidents had parrot companions during their presidencies. Here is a list of presidents who really did have parrots during their White House days.

lovebird

5 Health Choices Pet Bird Owners Should Make Today

Why put off to tomorrow what you should do today … especially if it can be a lifesaver for your pet bird? Here are five choices to make now to better your bird’s health.

head shot of African Grey parrot in cage holding peanut to its beak

Pet Bird Owner New Year’s Resolutions

A better cage, new toys or perches, healthier foods and treats — what is your New Year’s resolution regarding your bird?

cockatiel perched on finger

Keep Your Pet Bird Out Of The ER This Holiday!

The holidays can bring added dangers to a bird’s typically safe life. Being aware of these dangers can prevent accidents and tragedies, and a trip to your emergency avian veterinarian.

flood

After The Hurricane: What Pet Bird Owners Need To Know

Dr. Gregory Rich’s clinic was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. He shares his experience, plus what pet bird owners need to do in a hurricane’s aftermath.

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