Published in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, Vol 25, No 2, June 2011
Expert Companion Bird Care Series: Volume I. M.S. Echols and B.L. Speer, eds. DVD 2010. 88 minutes. Price: $24.95. Available at AvianStudios.com or 801-298-9093.
Expert Companion Bird Care Series: Volume I is a DVD that was created by 2 leading avian veterinarians and bird care specialists; Dr. Scott Echols and Brian Speer. The DVD is divided into 6 sections: How to Identify Commonly Kept Parrot Species (Jeleen Briscoe), Housing Your Pet Bird (Greg Burkett), Basic Avian Nutrition (Susan Orosz), Household Dangers and Toxins (Laura Wade), Identifying When Your Bird is Sick (Paul Gibbons), and How to Select an Avian Veterinarian (Kemba Marshall). Each host is a recognized avian medical expert and distinguished educator. This 88-minute DVD was designed to provide solid basic information to pet bird owners.
The first 3 sections describe commonly kept species, including their housing, care, and nutrition. The remaining 3 sections focus on identifying and preventing toxicities in pet birds, clinical signs of sick birds, and recommendations for bird owners for obtaining veterinary care. To complement the information, the quality of the photography was generally excellent and well done.
One can always look at a DVD critically and identify areas that can be improved. For example, the introductions of the section hosts/authors were too long; some aspects of select presentations were also too long; and in some sections the number of species discussed and other information were probably too detailed. And, unfortunately, the viewer must look at the long introductory biographical sketch each time one wishes to see a section.
Although the Expert Companion Bird Care Series: Volume I is an excellent resource for bird-owning clients and pet store owners/employees, it is also an excellent addition to the library of any clinician who wishes to share it with clients, technicians, and veterinary students, or who wishes to personally review select basic avian topics.
In summary, this resource is an excellent introduction to avian care, and Drs. Echols and Speer should be commended. This DVD is, therefore, a high quality guide to select avian topics and will serve as a handy educational tool. And there is other good news: Volume II has recently been completed, and other volumes are currently under development.
Reviewed by James W. Carpenter, MS, DVM, Dipl. ACZM, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.