Lafeber Helps Birds Displaced by Recent Hurricanes

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey still affects many Texans, including some pet bird owners. Read a first-hand account of flooding in a Houston home, and how Lafeber Company and a circle of donors are helping by sending bird food.

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Inside Pepperberg’s Lab: Getting Parrots To Exercise

Exercise is particularly important for our parrots, as most conditions in captivity are extremely different from the lives they live in the wild.

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cockatiel, 'tiel

Psittacosis: What Bird Owners Need to Know

Psittacosis is a disease that can be transmitted to people from birds and vice versa, so learn all you can to protect your bird from it.

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mini macaw, yellow collared macaw, macaw parrot

Inside The Mighty Avian Heart

A bird’s cardiovascular system must provide adequate delivery of oxygen to vascular beds that are taxed by extreme metabolic demands.

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What Is a Geriatric Parrot?

What exactly defines a “geriatric” bird? Discover the physiological signs of aging in birds and the steps to take to help ward off the afflictions associated with advanced age as well as see what studies reveal on birds’ secret to a long life span.

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Parrot Conservation Surprise Challenge: Bees

When Dr. Caroline Efstathion learned that a major problem for parrots in South America and Africa is Africanized honey bees taking over their nesting cavities, she seized the opportunity to combine her passion for parrots and knowledge of entomology to help find a solution.

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Flight & Exercises To Keep Your Bird Moving

To truly be healthy and fit, our birds need regular exercise in addition to a wholesome and balanced diet. Of course, for birds, flying is the optimal form of exercise. But is free flight a safe option for every companion bird? Are there alternatives?

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scarlet macaw; rainbow macaw; red macaw; red parrot; scarlet parrot

Free Flight: Lessons from ExoticsCon

One trending topic among avian veterinarians is the correlation between flight and bird health. Specifically, having a companion bird fly can help maintain cardiac, vascular, muscular, and mental health.

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Bird Vets Flock To Portland For ExoticsCon 2016

Exotic medicine was in the spotlight recently when the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) and the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) met in Portland for ExoticsCon 2016. One trend seen among avian veterinarians is an increase in pet birds presenting with metabolic bone disease, one form of which includes osteoporosis.

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yellow and blue macaw; blue-and-gold macaw

Complex Intelligence Defines Bird Brained

It appears that the part of the brain that corresponds to the forebrain, the pallium in birds, has a much higher concentration of neurons or the brain cells packed in the same amount of space than many primates.

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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.

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Re-thinking What “Bird Brained” Means

Find out how some birds evolved to be more intelligent than we humans initially thought.

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cockatiel perched in 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.

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An Egg’s Incredible Journey

From the ovaries to ovulation, trace the path of a bird egg and what happens at each stage to result in the fragile casing of new life.

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yellow and blue macaw; blue-and-gold 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.

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Sun Conure

A Healthy Year Ahead For Your Pet Bird

This is the time of year to make New Year’s resolutions and many involve fitness and health. So what about your bird friend? What type of resolution for them? We want them to be fit and healthy as well, so what are the bullet points to achieve that goal?

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blue-crowned conure

Protect Your Pet Bird From Mold

Ventilation, heat, humidity, cleanliness and other factors affect the possibility that your bird might suffer a respiratory infection caused by mold.

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Toucan

A Printed Prosthetic For A Damaged Beak

A brave toucan named Tieta can eat again thanks a special collaboration between the South American wildlife management group Instituto Vida Livre and three Brazilian universities determined to give her a new start in life. See what her 3D printable beak looks like and how she’s learning to use it!

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Avian Vets Flock To ExoticsCon

Exotic medicine’s super powers — the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) and the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) — gathered in San Antonio for ExoticsCon 2015.

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Dr. T.J. Lafeber

How Lafeber’s Helping Hands Changed Avian Medicine

Meet the man who — with budgie in hand — inspired up-and-coming veterinarians to take an interest in avian medicine and helped turn the veterinary world’s focus to avian medicine.

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A Firsthand Look At A Seabird Rescue

When Internal Bird Rescue got the call that 50 seabirds were in distress in the San Francisco Bay, they were soon tasked with saving cold, wet birds that suffered from a mysterious feather contamination. See the life-saving tactics rescuers quickly enacted, including the feeding of a one-of-a-kind Lafeber diet that helped save the day.

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See What Sets Bird Hospitals Apart

Susan Horton, DVM, takes us on a tour of her labor of love — the recently opened Chicago Exotics Hospital.

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Vaccines & Pet Birds

Do pet birds need vaccines? See what the latest avian research reveals.

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African Grey Parrot

Avian Medicine Gets The Spotlight In Paris

Dr. Susan Orosz reports on some exciting developments in avian medicine at the second International Conference for Avian, Herpetological and Exotic Mammal Medicine (ICARE) conference recently held in Paris.

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double yellow-headed Amazon parrot, yellow-headed parrot, Amazon parrot

Healthy Gut, Healthier Bird

Good digestive health can hinge on the balance of good microbes vs. bad microbes, with a balanced immune system at stake. See what researchers at Texas A&M found when they compared the microbiome of wild parrots with that of companion parrots.

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Nutri-Berries vs. Standard Avian Diets

In the 25 years that Lafeber’s Nutri-Berries have been part of the food spectrum for parrots, more and more pet bird enthusiasts have offered them as a surefire way to get their birds on the path to good nutrition. You know your bird likes them, but are you curious to know how Nutri-Berries stack up against standard parrot diet offerings?

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Congo African Grey, African grey, Grey, African Gray

Bird Brains are Not that Simple!

Check out this scientific look at the mind of parrots, and learn a whole new meaning for “birdbrain.”

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toucan, toco toucan

New Technology Allows For A “Printable” Beak

The future of 3D printing is quite exciting — and it can even help our feathered friends. In fact, 3D printing might just be a lifesaver for this friendly toucan!

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green-winged macaws in wild

Parrot Breeding Biology In The Wild & In The Home

Knowing what in-home conditions can inadvertently mimic breeding season in the wild can help us lessen or deter hormonal behavior inside the home. Find out how cage placement and the food you offer can affect your bird’s behavior.

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Celebrating 25 Years of Nutri-Berries!

It’s official — Nutri-Berries have been making pet birds happier and healthier one Nutri-Berry at a time for 25 years now! It’s hard to imagine the pre-Nutri-Berries world … all those bland diets made offering balanced nutrition an exercise in frustration. Fortunately, Nutri-Berries changed all that.

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Follow This Stay-Healthy Plan For Your Pet Bird

If you’re a to-do list person or one who needs a little reminding every now and then, you’re in luck! We’ve put together a month-by-month list of suggestions —and gentle nudges — to help you help your pet bird in the year ahead.

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Grey Parrot Anatomy Project

The Grey Parrot Anatomy Project

The Grey Parrot Anatomy Project aims to create an accurate physical and digital anatomy reference, including a standardized basis for avian anatomy nomenclature, of the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus).

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African grey parrot; African gray

Is Your Bird Ready To Fly?

Birds are the ultimate flying machines, with truly remarkable aerial feats. Part of what draws us to birds is the fact that they can fly; it is part of a bird’s unique makeup. While parrots can fly, there are certainly differences in the way they fly, and not all parrots are equally adept at flying.

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A Veterinary Conference for the Birds

Imagine a gathering of veterinarians rubbing elbows, picking each other’s brains about their complex cases, sharing research and developing strategies to conquer avian diseases and conditions. AAV’s conference is a week of just that. See what hot topics avian vets were talking about.

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Feather Trims & Other Summer Safety Info

Summer is a fun time to share with your bird and so I wanted to pass along some summer tips to make the time more enjoyable.

While we all want to get out of the house this time of year, how should we do that successfully with our companion birds?

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African grey parrot; grey parrot. African grey chick

How Egg Laying Affects Your Pet Bird

It is that time of year for the hatching of chicks – those from the wild and those in our homes! While they can be cute and fun, chicks are a lot of work and require proper care to survive and thrive.

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Pet Bird Research: PDD

Dr. Susan Orosz recently traveled to Rome, Italy for the AIVPA conference (Italy’s Association of Small Animal Veterinarians annual gathering). See what Dr. Orosz and her colleagues from both the U.S. and abroad are learning about PDD and how this “meeting of the minds” can lead to significant advances in treating this disease.

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Green Parakeet

Psittacosis & Other Zoonotic Diseases

A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be passed between animals to humans. Zoonotic diseases can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. As pet bird owners, we all need to know about the zoonotic diseases of our birds so that we can guard against them — to keep both them and us healthy and happy!

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Green check Conure

Why You Need An Avian Veterinarian

Unfortunately, many people forgo taking their bird to the vet until it is too late, as in, “Now I should take my bird to the vet because it is down on the bottom of the cage.” When a bird is that sick, it is very difficult (for anyone, no matter their knowledge or expertise) to bring the bird back from the brink of death.

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orange-winged Amazon parrot, old Amazon parrot

Amazon Parrot Still Going Strong at 100!

I have had a couple of old hens that have taught me a lot about birds. They were both orange-winged Amazon parrots. I am at the end of the generation of veterinarians on the first line where all of our patients were wild caught.

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Lovebird

Five Pet Parrot Facts

Parrots are structured to survive as flying, flocking, feathered denizens of the sky and trees. Check out these Five Fun Parrot Facts and you’ll have an even greater appreciation of your bird’s uniqueness!

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Photo of a Parakeet on a Christmas Tree

Top-Ten Holiday Hazards For Your Pet Bird

The companion parrot is part of the family! While including our feathered friends in the holiday season, we must be sure to keep them safe.

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Double Yellow-Headed Amazon parrot; yellow-headed parrot

Why Birds Live So Long

Parrots live much longer than they are supposed to live! In fact the large macaws live on average four times their predicted life spans! So what’s their secret?

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Green Parrot

Fall Pet Bird Health Check: Hormones & Respiratory Concerns

October is the time of change – particularly along the northern tier in the United States. While we often think about how autumn affects us, a change of seasons also brings out changes in our pet birds.

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African Grey Eating

Foods Toxic To Pet Birds

Foods On Your Avian Vet’s Do Not Feed List include Chocolate, Avocado, Onion, High-Fat and High-Sugar foods.

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Nanday Conure

The Bird Beak Inside & Out

The beak is derived from a cornified specialization of the skin and has the same components.

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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.

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Parrot Feet

When we think of birds, we often imagine these fascinating creatures flying through the air. Yet, what goes up must come down. Let’s focus on birds’ feet, which allow birds to maneuver and rest while taking a break from flight.

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parro heart, avian heart, bird heart

Journey Inside The Hearts of Birds

In this part two of her “Anatomy of the Avian Heart” series, Dr. Susan Orosz gives us a microscopic look at our birds’ hearts. Find out why a bird’s super-fast heart rate necessitates a souped-up electrocardiogram machine, among other fascinating avian heart facts.

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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.

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hyacinth macaw, blue macaw, hyacinth parrot, blue parrot

Anatomy of the Avian Heart

The most striking features of birds is their ability to perform very rigorous functions in harsh environments, such as diving deeply in cold water, flying at high altitudes and running in hot deserts. This requires that their cardiovascular system (CVS) be able to meet the demands of providing adequate delivery of oxygen to vascular beds that are taxed by extreme metabolic demands.

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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.

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Senior Nutri-berries

Senior Bird Nutri-Berries

Learn about the ingredients in Senior Bird Nutri-Berries that might help your older bird live a longer, healthier life.

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How Liz Wilson Helped Avian Veterinarians

I remember the first thing that Liz wanted all parrot owners to do when they first got their bird and especially if they were having a problem: she wanted them to take it to their avian vet!

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Why Birds’ Eyes Are So Different From Ours

Enhanced visual acuity, seeing ultraviolet light, and changing focus rapidly are some of the fascinating abilities of birds’ eyes.

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Blue Yellow Macaw

Voice/Sound Changes in Pet Birds: Cause For Concern

Did you know that a voice change or lack of vocalization in birds can signal a health problem, or that cough-like noise, gurgling sounds or a high-pitched squeak can all indicate a medical emergency?

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The Female Reproductive System: Along Comes The Egg!

It is important for bird owners to understand the female bird’s reproductive system. Here is a detailed account of exactly what goes on during the egg-laying process

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4 Easy Ways To Deter Breeding Behavior

Find out why you might want to rethink your pet bird’s cage setup, how long you leave the lights on, the type of foods you feed, and even the way you pet and interact with your bird.

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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.

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parrot flapping wings

See How They Fly

Birds have solved the problem of flight through an aerodynamic design of their own, streamlined bodies, reduced weight, a powerful heart, and an efficient respiratory system, among other adaptations.

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cockatiel

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.

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Military Macaw

The Miracle of Flight; Part I

We talk about miracles, particularly during the holiday season, but one that we as bird owners often marvel at is the miracle of flight! The adaptations necessary for birds to fly are considered among the most intriguing puzzles of all in biology.

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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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bird on pumpkin

Halloween Safety

This is the time of year when most of us invite little neighborhood “goblins and ghoulies and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night” to our front doors for treats. Because this is considered the scariest time of the year, I thought it appropriate to share some of the frightening things that can happen if we are not vigilant while the festivities are going on.

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Dilated crop

Unraveling the Puzzle of Avian Bornavirus & PDD

We must expand our view of clinical ABV disease to that of a continuum of a wide range of clinical symptoms. Many clinically infected birds show only mild clinical signs of disease.

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AfricanGray

Why an Avian Vet ?

Every time I talk to bird owners, I emphasize the importance of having one’s pet bird checked out yearly by an avian veterinarian. Indeed, I often refuse to work with a parrot with a so-called “behavior problem” until after the owner has had the animal thoroughly checked out. After all, many alleged psittacine delinquencies are instead manifestations of physical problems.

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Summertime Fun ~ Summertime Safe!

Those “Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” are here! Check out how the activities of the season could affect your bird.

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Poicephalus

18 Ways to Drive an Avian Vet Crazy

The following list is compiled from experiences I had working for twenty years with avian veterinarians. Each is true. Bird owners drive their avian veterinarians crazy when they do the following.

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Avian Medicine

Yes, avian medicine is much more expensive than dog and cat medicine. Why is that? There are several reasons, which I will explain, but the main one is TIME.

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Helpful Holiday Hints for Pet Bird Lovers

The holidays are a fun time, but also a bit crazy. These tips help you anticipate, and prevent, some hazards or stresses your bird might face.

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