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Expert Companion Bird Care Series Volume 1 DVD Review

This month sees the release of a brand new and really exciting DVD, by Dr. M. Scott Echols, who brought us that wonderful DVD on Foraging, Captive Foraging: The Next Best Thing to Being Free, and Dr Brian Speers who wrote, Birds For Dummies and The Large Macaws. Both veterinarians are well known and respected and on this DVD, both have produced a well presented and informative presentation. It is the first avian DVD to be created by a collection of recognised avian veterinarians, aviculturists, pet shop owners, teachers, enthusiasts and bird owners, giving advice on various avian topics all together.

This is the first in a series of expert companion care DVDs and this series each topic is covered and discussed by a chosen expert in that field, giving you a diverse range of ideas and information. It runs for a total of 88 minutes and holds the viewers attention from start to end.


In this DVD, the topics covered are,

1. How to identify Commonly Kept Parrot Species, by Dr Jeleen Briscoe, VMD Dipl. ABVP Avian. This chapter covers very basic anatomy, good breed descriptions and scientific names, as well as common names used, with very good visuals, which run for about 19 minutes.

2. Housing Your Pet Birds Housing and Caging Materials, by Dr Greg Burkett, DVM Dipl. ABVP Avian. This chapter has a good description of what should be considered as minimum cage sizes, though does recommend that owners buy the largest size cage they can afford and fit in their home. Dr. Burkett describes the pros and cons of different shape cages and what they are manufactured from. Again Australian audiences are considered, with a conversion from inches to centimetres. As well as cages, different types of perches and where to position them is discussed, as well as toys and environmental enrichment. This is a huge subject, but in the short time of 20 minutes, a lot of useful information is shown.

3. Basic Avian Nutrition, by Dr. Susan Oros, DVM PhD Dipl. ABVP Avian. In this chapter basic nutrition is shown as well as the importance and ways to help make your parrot forage for its food. Dr Susan Oros describes feeding strategies in the wild, as well as describing healthy foods, she also tells you how you can make it more interesting to feed your bird. This chapter is only 10 minutes long and probably could have been longer and described more foraging techniques, but Dr M, Scott Echols has already covered this in his foraging DVD, AND I would not be surprised if it is covered again in one of the Expert Companion Birds following volumes.

4. Household Dangers and Toxins, by Dr. Laura Wade, DVM Dipl. ABVP Avian. Dr Laura Wade tells the viewer many of the hidden dangers that are lurking in our homes and also the importance of watching our parrots when they are out of their cages. This chapter runs for approximately 7 minutes.

5. Identifying When Your Bird is Sick, by Dr. Paul Gibbons, DVM Dipl. ABVP Avian. This chapter is very important and what I liked about what was shown, was that not only did Dr Paul Gibbons describe illnesses, the videos shown, were really relevant. For a novice bird owner, these images could help make them aware of what to look out for and teach them to get to their avian vet much earlier. This could help save many companion birds lives. There is also a description on birds dropping and what to look out for.

6. How To Select An Avian Veterinarian, by Dr Kemba Marshall, DVM Dipl. ABVP Avian. This chapter lets you know what to look for and what qualifications are available to vets that specialise in avian medicine. There is a description of questions you may wish to ask you vet and also tells you questions your vet may ask you when you go for a visit. This important, as it can prepare you to gather the relevant information before you arrive at your appointment, which can make history taking a lot easier for everyone.


Each different presenter expertly covers each chapter giving the viewer a wealth of well thought out information. There is also a chapter on each presenter, giving their credentials, experience and different organisations and boards they are on, which I found interesting.

Some of the information is American based, and I am sure the way Dr. Jeleen Briscoe pronouns budgerigars will bring a smile to your face, but with very few exceptions, all the information is highly relevant to bird enthusiasts here in Australia and a must for anyone seeking quality, up to date information. When describing different bird weights, even though imperial measurements are mentioned, a conversion to metric is also shown, for our benefit. Also in the chapter on How To Select An Avian Veterinarian, this DVD also lists the organizations here in Australia to look for. As this DVD was manufactured in America, I really liked and appreciated that extra bit of information, in considering Australian audiences. Whether you are a novice parrot owner and enthusiast, or professional seeking more information, this is definitely a DVD worth owning and one for parrot professionals involved in the industry to highly recommend to their clients, whether you be a veterinarian, breeder, or pet shop owner.

This is the first volume in series of Expert Companion Bird series, which I am sure will build into a comprehensive library of information, that is must have in every bird enthusiasts resource list. In upcoming volumes, future topics are: History of Bird Keeping by Dr. Christal Pollock, How To Select a Bird That Fits your Lifestyle, Dr. Lauren Powers, Where To Obtain Birds, By Michelle Gluck-Specialty Bird Pet Stores, Commercial Pet Stores-Tom Edling, Aviculturists-Rick Jordan, Julie Murad from the Gabriel Foundation, Diane Starenes from NPRPF, and Ann Brooks from Phoenix Landing.

They will also be covering, Behaviour Modication, by Susan Friedman, Avian First Aid, by Paul Gibbons, Basic Grooming, by Laurie Hess, Positive Reinforcement Training, by Barbara Heidenreich, Zoonotic Diseases, by Dr. Tom Tully, Parrots in the Wild, by Jamie Gilardi, Routine Examinations and Labwork, by Dr Geoff Olsen, DNA Sexing and Identification, by Dr Joy Halverson, How To Administer Medication at Home, by Dr Cindy Brown, Handling Your Bird For Home Treatments, by Dr Brian Speer.

After viewing Volume 1, I know you will be anxiously awaiting the following volumes to help build your library and learn so much more, so watch out as Volume 2.


This DVD is now available from the PRC Shop Click here

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