Internet Marketing Targeting Parrot Owners

Posted by Raz on Feb 18th, 2009
Feb 18

Barbara Heidenreich has published a position statement on marketing practices companion parrot owners may encounter. Buyer beware.

Internet Business Practices that Target Companion Parrot Owners

One thing that’s a sure giveaway that a “professional trainer” is more interested in making money than disseminating knowledge is a total lack of references to other trainers’ resources or qualifications, and claims to have the “secrets!” that others don’t. Respected professional trainers work together, not in competition.

— Carly Lu’s Flight Blog


How to Train Your Parrot to Fly — really?

Posted by Raz on Jun 18th, 2008
Jun 18

I have just noticed that someone who has barely any experience in training flighted recall is now offering a course (video and ebook) on how to train your parrot, of any age and condition, to fly and do recall, flighted tricks, etc. With guaranteed results of course, in just X number of days, for any bird, no matter what. Sound familiar?

I think all I have to say at this point is to check out the authors’ actual credentials in the professional training world (not their sparkly photos which suggest that training skill is measured by your need to have your snapshot taken with a celebrity — I guess they’re supposed to be celebrities anyway) and decide for yourself if you want to send them your credit card information.

Apparently you have to train differently depending on your bird’s “personality type.” Zoo trainers should be thrilled to discover this important new information that amateurs were able to discern in a few weeks, in between their copious internet marketing pursuits.

Again, please see the Training Resources page if you want to see what real trainers are offering for companion parrot owners.


Morally Depraved

Posted by Raz on May 27th, 2008
May 27

This is the latest version of the “animal rights” press release, from This was released today,after the incident recently where someone watched these very videos, tried it himself, and lost his African Grey Parrot (Tui).

Thousands Inflict Animal Cruelty On Their Parrot shows how the common practice of clipping a pet parrot’s wings causes severe emotional damage to pet birds, and how a new method of raising pet birds allows pet bird owners a way to let their birds fly freely outside, but still come back when you call them. This gives them all the exercise nature intended them to have, and provides dramatic amounts of emotional stimulus. has shown clipping causes severe emotional damage?? (Their new research division?) Guilt-tripping people into trying to freefly their bird, especially using the unweaned baby bird method, in my opinion borders on a disgusting disregard of ethics.

Also, this part of their press release explicitly states that the Cressi videos Tui’s owner watched are intended to teach people how to freefly their bird, contrary to claims that they are just posted to demonstrate what they have done:

In an effort to teach parrot owners how to use positive reinforcement to train their birds for lasting results and an end to bad behaviors like screeching, biting, and feather plucking, has documented a case study of how they used positive reinforcement to train their Congo African Grey to safely fly outside, including videos and pictures of the entire process.

This all just makes me sick. I am all for keeping birds flighted, but it is unethical in the extreme to advocate it for everyone on the grounds that not doing so is animal cruelty. Pushing people to do this whose birds are not ready for it, or who may not be up for it themselves, will result in losses — THAT is animal cruelty.

This kind of advertising is just morally depraved.

(For more on the “freeflight as enrichment” issue, see this post, and on the unweaned baby method, Don’t Be Bird-tricked.)