Expert Companion Bird Care Series: Volume II
Dr. M. Scott Echols & Dr. Brian L. Speer
Avian Studios

Released May 2011
Duration: 40 minutes

DVD Reviewed by Shane Hancock
Vice President ­‐ Parrot Society of Australia Inc.

Following on from the success of their first volume in this series, Dr. Scott
Echols and Dr. Brian Speer present three well­‐known and respected avian
professionals to share their knowledge and advice on parrot keeping. It
is refreshing to see that a concerted effort is being made by Avian Studios
to release quality information to the public that is pitched at the novice
and experienced bird keeper alike. The production’s format is appropriately paced, edited beautifully, comprehensive and relevant to anybody considering parrot ownership or an existing fancier. Avian Studios is breaking new ground by responding to the need for well-produced and useful multimedia resources that companion parrot owners can access at their leisure that is visually rich and thoughtful.

Drs. Scott Echols (creator of the Captive Foraging DVD) and Dr. Brian
L. Speer (author of Birds for Dummies and The Large Macaws) are
friends of the Parrot Society of Australia having both been engaged
in speaking events for us over the years. Their credentials are well established as two leaders in the field of avian practice and veterinary
care. What I enjoy most about this series is that Scott and Brian are happy
to showcase other avian professionals rather than themselves in bringing
you the best information on bird care available. It is this spirit of collegiality that shines through in Volume 2 and their choice of format.

Scott, who also provides a bio for each of the three presenters, introduces
the DVD and its contributors. This is a nice touch and makes the presentation very personal for the viewer. The main chapters covered in this title are ‘The History of Bird Keeping’, ‘Selecting a Bird That Fits Your Lifestyle’, and ‘Understanding Aviculture’. All three chapters complement each other to provide a well‐rounded presentation that is full of useful and practical information.

As someone who reads and sees a lot of information on birds, it was great to watch Dr. Christal Pollock’s chapter on the history of bird keeping. It provides a snapshot on how mankind has interacted with and revered birds throughout the centuries. Aviculturists often don’t know the history
of their hobby and the notable personalities who have contributed to raising the profile of aviculture through the ages. It is a unique aspect to
the content of this DVD and fascinating viewing.

Dr. Lauren Powers presents a chapter on pet bird selection according to your lifestyle. Her advice is invaluable to anyone contemplating owning a
parrot or pet bird and what considerations need to be given when choosing the right companion for you. Everything from which species is right for you, what attributes to look for when choosing the right bird, accommodation and veterinary commitments are covered in detail. This
chapter also provides the novice with an overview of what they are committing to when owning a bird and the responsibility it entails. It is a chapter that could very well prevent a prospective bird owner from making the wrong decision and potentially failing as a pet bird owner.

Another friend of the Society and internationally renowned aviculturist and author, Mr. Rick Jordan, presents the third and final chapter ‘Understanding Aviculture’. What Rick doesn’t know about bird keeping is probably not worth knowing. His breeding, husbandry and avian management knowledge is extensive to say the least. Rick’s chapter dives into what our hobby is and how aviculture is recognized as an industry with dedicated and skilled aviculturists who contribute to the success of bird keeping. He relates this knowledge base to advancements in avian medicine and species conservation. Rick demonstrates the importance of belonging to a community of collective knowledge by joining local clubs and international organisations to absorb the vast amount of avicultural expertise available. His presentation makes you appreciate your role, no matter how insignificant you think it might be is important in understanding aviculture.

Overall, this is an outstanding production by Avian Studios and provides a feast of imagery and information to the viewer. I doubt that anybody who watches it will be disappointed or not learn something new to add to their experience and education. Each presenter is comfortable in his or her delivery to camera making this DVD pleasant and easy to watch.

While I personally do enjoy picking up a book, there is something therapeutic about taking time out from our busy lives to watch a DVD and immerse yourself in a resource that supports your hobby. Expert Companion Bird Care Series: Volume 2 was not only interesting to watch but informative. It was 40 minutes well spent to learn more about the birds I enjoy so much. I personally recommend it as a valuable addition to your avicultural resource library and feel that it should be compulsory viewing for anyone contemplating adding a companion bird to their household.

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