Avian Expert Articles

Laura Doering

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:

Green-winged macaw and cockatoo, red macaw, cockatoo

Healthy Habits We Can Learn From Our Birds

Looking for some healthy habits to try in the year ahead? Good news! Chances are you have your very own health coach living with you right now — look no further than your feathered friend!

Parrot

Newsworthy Bird Stories

Do a Google news search with the key words “parrot” or “bird.” You might be treated to some fascinating and downright entertaining bird stories — perfect topics to read aloud to your pet bird!

budgerigar, parakeet, budgie

Back-to-School Shopping For Your Pet Bird

End of summer means school is back in session; a time when stores are full of school essentials. See how some basic school supplies can help up your game when it comes to caring for your pet bird.

quaker parrot playing

Four Things You Should Never Do In Front Of Your Pet Bird

Four things you should never do in front of your bird (and one thing you should do!) to promote the health and happiness of your feathered pal.

Macaw showing hearts in Minecraft game

Fictitious Birds Should Eat Healthy Too

The Minecraft video game had a parrot problem — the parrot characters were fed chocolate chip cookies! See which movie parrots were also fed no-no foods.

Reed warbler cuckoo feeding a much larger chick

Birds That Deceive To Get Ahead

The first day of April is notable mostly because that is the day of the year where pranks and deception rule the day. With that theme in mind, there are plenty of instances in nature where animals have evolved to be deceptive as a survival tactic. Here’s a look at bird species that use trickery to get ahead.

Northern Lapwing walking on the shore

Birds for St. Patrick’s Day

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on March 17 each year, here’s a look at one popular bird in Ireland – the Northern lapwing ‑ as well as some parrots whose plumage will make us all green with envy.

Tauraco erythrolophus By Gary J. Wood

More Birds With Dr. Seuss-Like Looks

For the most part, Dr. Seuss’s birds look familiar, but their feathers and shapes are best described as otherworldly. We’ve previously shared some real-life birds that look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book, here are some more fantastical Dr. Seuss-like birds to check out.

Vampire finch perched on a bird

Vampire Finches & Ghost Birds

October is the spooky time of the year, so it is befitting to learn about two peculiar topics related to the world of birds: vampire finches and ghost birds. Yes, there is a finch that drinks blood, but humans need not run. And what is a ghost bird … curious?

Four Zebra Finches sitting on a branch

Finches Talk To Their Eggs & Other Fascinating Bird News

Check out these intriguing bird-centric stories, which range from parrots playing video games to zebra finches telling their eggs when to hatch to how the males of a bird species called the southern pied babble favor their own biological male chicks over their “stepchicks.”

Fireworks

A Safe & Sane Fourth of July For Your Bird

If your bird startles at the sound of a slammed door, car alarm or other loud, unexpected noise, the Fourth of July might not be the easiest holiday for your feathered friend to handle. Here are some preemptive steps to take to help your bird remain stress-free around Independence Day.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Pet Parrots & Ground Foraging

Parrots in the wild spend good part of the day on foot looking for items to munch. And so it stands to reason that the parrots in our homes might also enjoy walking on their own two feet to see what they can find. Here are some tips for creating a bottom play and foraging area for your pet bird.

Cockatiel perched in a cage

Transform Your Bird’s Cage From Drab to Fab

Dog and cat owners have to deal with shed fur. For pet-bird owners, it’s the challenge of cage fallout — namely food, toys and shed feathers.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Real Birds That Look Like A Dr. Seuss Character

Dr. Seuss’s books are filled with an assortment of animal characters — including birds — drawn in a distinct Seuss style. Here are some spectacular real-life bird species that look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book!

quaker parrot playing

Be Your Bird’s “Wingman”

Are you good at providing support when your bird is around other people, be it visitors to the home or even among household members who might not have as strong a bond with your bird? Here are five signs of a good wingman as it pertains to the feathered kind.

yellow and blue macaw

“Healthy” Foods Your Bird Should Stop Eating Today

Many of the foods we think are healthy aren’t 100% so. In fact, some start to creep into to the unhealthy category if we overindulge. When we offer some of these seemingly healthy foods to our birds we might be serving our feathered companions a potential overload of sugar, sodium and other unhealthy ingredients.

Goffins Cockatoo biting talon

Tech Gadgets for Pet Bird Owners

Did you get one of the top-selling tech holiday gifts this season? Big box retailer Best Buy did a consumer survey of the most sought-after tech gadgets, which range from iPads to GoPros. Following is a sampling of top gadgets that might prove especially helpful to pet bird enthusiasts and why.

Vasa parrot, black parrot

How Smart Are Parrots? They Use Tools Too!

Research on Vasa parrots from the University of York and University of St. Andrews that point to the first documentation of nonhuman use of tools for grinding, and one of only a few reports of nonhuman animals sharing tools directly. See the Vasa parrots’ tool of choice to grind calcium powder from shells.

lovebird

Budgies, Cockatiels & Lovebirds Are Parrots Too!

Here’s a look at some common small bird myths and facts.

budgie parakeet

Why Parrots Can Talk

From budgerigars to African Greys to macaws, nine parrot species in a university study reveal why certain bird species are better at imitating sounds than other birds. Hint: It’s got a lot to do with the structure of the brain.

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