2021 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year

Thirty-three exceptional avian veterinarians from all around the world were nominated for the 2021 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year. The independent Selection Committee narrowed this list to four finalists and the Award recipient, Dr. Yvonne van Zeeland, was announced during the Plenary Session at the 2021 ExoticsCon…

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What Parrots Want: The Importance and Use of Foraging and Environmental Enrichment for Birds

This webinar recording is RACE-approved for 1 hour of continuing education. Despite parrots being popular pets, much of the information regarding their nutritional and behavioral needs is still unknown. Unlike dogs and cats, most psittacine species are not domesticated and have therefore likely retained most, if not all, of their wild instincts and behavioral needs. In captivity, however, most parrots have little to no opportunity to perform these species-typical behaviors. This will not only reduce their welfare, but can also result in the onset of abnormal repetitive behaviors, including feather damaging behavior, and oral or locomotor stereotypies.

Yvonne van Zeeland, DVM, MVR, PhD, DECZM

Yvonne R.A. van Zeeland, DVM, MVR, PhD, DECZM (Avian, Small Mammal) was named the 2021 T.J. Lafeber Avian Practitioner of the Year. Dr. van Zeeland is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Zoological Medicine at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. She earned her doctorate from Utrecht University in 2004, then completed an internship in companion animal medicine at Utrecht followed by a residency in avian medicine. Throughout her career, Yvonne has shown a special interest in parrot behavior, which led her to become a Tinley and International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)-certified parrot behavior consultant. Yvonne’s research primarily focuses on feather-damaging behavior in grey parrots. After successfully defending her thesis in 2013, she obtained a PhD for these graduate studies.

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Fascinating Facts on Foraging and Enrichment

Foraging, the act of searching for and finding food, makes up a significant part of the wild parrot’s day. In the wild, most animals, including psittacine birds, spend a significant part of their daily activity on foraging. In fact, many free-ranging parrots regularly travel several miles between feeding sites in search of food. Once wild parrots arrive at a feeding site, a wide variety of foraging behaviors are observed including searching, manipulating, as well as consuming food. Depending on the species and the season, time invested on these behaviors can range from…