In a continuation of excellent advice on bird care from top-notch avian specialists, this third in the series of Expert Companion Bird Care delves into four important categories.

The avian specialists provide critical information on what to look for when considering purchasing a bird, the pros and cons of a variety of grooming techniques, and the advantages of DNA testing to not only determine a bird’s gender, but most critically, to accurately identify the pet, should that question ever arise.

As in Parts I & II, this video is essential to new and existing bird owners. Both novices and veteran bird owners will glean vital information to properly care for their companion bird, and existing owners likely will see the importance of revisiting and refreshing their knowledge of caring for their birds from this presentation.

I was significantly impressed with the segments on purchasing a bird and how much thought must go into decision making before a bird comes home.

In just a 40-minute video, the outstanding cast of avian specialists pack a large amount of vital information in a succinct and amazingly educational manner.

There is no “down time” in this fast-paced video, which, however, is easy to follow.

The first chapter delves into the basics of selecting a place to purchase a bird, and knowing the right questions to ask to ensure the pet bird has had and will continue to have a healthy diet, housing, toys and other essentials. The segment also emphasizes the importance of visiting a veterinarian directly after purchase to ensure the bird is in good health.

This chapter also explores smaller, specialized bird shops and their ability to provide everything a bird owner will need, from veterinarian contacts to continuing education resources.

Next, a comparison is made between buying a bird from a large “multi-center” store. Overall, this segment seems to imply that because the staffs of large big-box stores sell everything related to companion pets, their specific knowledge of birds likely is not as thorough as specialized shops.

It is an excellent point and one of myriad things to consider when purchasing a bird. The chapter also describes in great detail how to determine the general health of a bird, a vital bit of knowledge to have.

Grooming in the third chapter is impressive in its detailed discussion of what is perhaps necessary and what might not be when trimming flight feathers, nails and sometimes beaks.

The veterinarian in this segment goes into great detail about how sensitive birds’ beaks can be, and grinding them to shorter lengths likely is not necessary unless the beak grows abnormally.

This grooming chapter will make any owner, or bird owner-to-be feel confident and duly informed about grooming prior to seeking a qualified groomer. It also emphasizes the need for regular bird baths to help dry skin conditions.

The final chapter is on the use of DNA testing to determine gender, which at first seemed a bit too technical, but the bottom line of using DNA samples to identify birds is extremely valuable information, especially should these “family members” become lost.

I began keeping my medium to large birds 16 years ago, and I learned a lot about their needs through a variety of hit-or-miss resources and by trial and error.

If I’d had access to this 40-minute video, I’d have been far more knowledgeable when purchasing my first bird, and he might have been more tolerant of me during the first couple of years.

I am confident in suggesting that this video is a must for the avian lover’s library.

Terri Moon Cronk
Washington, D.C.

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