This is an excellent review on what to expect when purchasing your bird, from how to evaluate the store, common policies to expect, and some general pointers on the health of the bird.  All bird owners should review the basic grooming procedures and consider DNA sexing of their birds, if the sex is unknown.

The first chapter is an overview of what to expect from a specialty bird store.  There are many excellent tips on what to look for when visiting these stores and what to expect when examining the birds.  These include the diet offered, normal activity of the birds, the in-store procedures such as cleanliness, and sources of the birds. Additionally they stress the importance of an independent health evaluation of the bird as well as expecting the bird to be fully weaned. The images and videos are very appropriate for highlighting the important points.

Chapter 2 discusses corporate or large pet stores.  There is an excellent section of this presentation that describes normal appearance of the birds as well as activity and evaluation of the droppings.  One point highlighted by both the specialty and large pet stores is the importance of obtaining information specifically about the pet bird species as well as the importance of obtaining an independent evaluation of the health of the bird.  Chapter 2 also covers one of the more important zoonotic diseases that can be passed from bird to human, psittacosis. There is a listing of expected life spans of birds and the reminder that this is a social pet, not something to lock away in a cage.

Chapter 3 is about common grooming and health maintenance of the bird.  The important points in this portion help the owners identify when changes in the beak, nails, and feathers indicate illness.  One of the highlights is the discussion of the anatomy of the feathers, beak, and nails.  The various options on how to perform grooming procedures such as nail and wing trims is greatly informative.

Chapter 4 covers the sexing of our monomorphic pet birds. The complex lab evaluation of DNA is presented in an easy to understand format. An additional benefit to DNA evaluation of the pet bird, includes a means to identify the bird should it become lost and ownership is questioned.

Overall I highly recommend this DVD to any bird owner, new and experienced.

Drury R. Reavill, DVM

Diplomate ABVP, certified in Avian Practice, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Pathologists

Zoo Exotic Pathology Service

West Sacramento, California

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