Avian Expert Articles

Understanding your bird’s emotional health and care needs is the recipe for a happy parrot-person household. Our avian-expert written articles are here to give you the information you need to keep your pet bird healthy and happy. Each week, we bring you exclusive articles written by veterinarians, behaviorists and other experts in the avian community. Whether you are new to the world of companion birds or are a seasoned parrot parent, you’ll find fascinating facts, need-to-know medical information, behavior tips and tricks, and much more!

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Congo African Grey Parrot on a cage

How Dr. Pepperberg Taught Parrots To Use Speech Appropriately

Early on in her behavioral research with Alex the African grey, Dr. Irene Pepperberg began incorporating what she refers to as the model/rival (M/R) system to teach a parrot how to speak and how to use speech appropriately, which also allows the bird to verbally communicate requests.

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.

African grey parrot

Stress Reduction for Companion Parrots

To put it bluntly, keeping companion parrots is similar to trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. The fact that they do as well as they do is testimony more to their adaptability than it is to our husbandry efforts.

colorful parrot

“Parronting” Styles with Parrots

Since it behooves us to periodically examine our relationships with our parrots, we should consider these different parenting approaches in terms of our pet birds.

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African grey

Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Mutual Exclusivity in Parrots—A Special Case of Inference

Dr. Irene Pepperberg once again put African grey parrot Griffin to the test in her cognitive behavior research lab. This time around, he was pushed beyond the concept of “inference by exclusion” (inferring where something can be found after being given information about where it is absent) to the trickier concept of mutual exclusivity (ME). Would Griffin understand that an object could, for example, be both “green” and “wool,” or “blue” and “wood?” See if Griffin was able to take his training to the level of his predecessor, Alex the African , and beyond.

It’s Cold Outside! Tips to Keep Your Bird Safe & Warm

The Midwest is experiencing a rare “polar vortex” and the coldest weather in decades, which makes staying warm indoors is a must. Here are some tips to ensure that everyone, including our feathered family members, are safe and comfortable at home during this cold snap.

Red-Crowned Amazon Parrots Thrive in Los Angeles

Burgeoning populations of feral red-crowned Amazons in Los Angeles inspired Conservation ecologists at UCLA to launch “Urban Ark to help city-dwelling birds adapt and thrive.

Meet the Kea: The “Mountain Parrot”

The Kea parrot of New Zealand fascinates many scientists with its high intelligence and choice of habitat. But the Kea is threatened and perhaps faces extinction.

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