Understanding Behavior Through Function-Based Training
Avian Behavior International Blog
by ShanaY
1w ago
At our recent ​AvOCET conference​, attendees were treated to an enlightening presentation by Sean Will and Maasa Nishimuta, founders of the Constructional Approach to Animal Training. Their talk focused on incorporating function-based training and degrees of freedom into modern animal training practices. What is function-based training and degrees of freedom, and how can you use it to transform your training? Understanding Behavior Through Function-Based Training Function-based training delves into the “why” behind animal behavior. Rather than merely addressing the behavior itself, this approa ..read more
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Cost-Benefit Analysis in Bird Care: A Path to Better Decisions
Avian Behavior International Blog
by ShanaY
1w ago
Are you tired of seeing animals struggle with outdated training methods? Are ear tags causing more harm than good? Today, I want to talk about the challenges we face when we encounter outdated information about caring for our birds and how we can progress beyond it. Sometimes it’s really easy and obvious to see when something needs to change. But then sometimes we come across a new concept that doesn’t fit within our paradigm. How do we make these decisions? Is it based on what sounds good, where it comes from, or does it align with our values and intuition? What it comes down to is evidence-b ..read more
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AvOCET 2024 Highlights: Insights, Ideas, and Inspiration for Bird Trainers
Avian Behavior International Blog
by ShanaY
3w ago
This year’s Avian Online Conference for Education and Training (AvOCET) was the jolt of behavior science inspiration and collaborative juice I know I really needed. From AvOCET newcomers such as Emily Davenport of the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Alliance, Annette Pedersen of the Copenhagen Zoo, Joe Whitehead of Shavers Creek Environmental Center, Stephanie Ashley of the Peregrine Fund, Lee Stone of Parrot Life Behaviour and Training, and Gail Buhl of University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center to last year’s top-notch featured speakers Barbara Heidenreich, Sean Will and Maasa Nishimuta, Dr. Lauren McG ..read more
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70 Ruling the Roost: Managing your needy parrot and your family’s happiness
Avian Behavior International Blog
by Hillary Hankey
2M ago
Having a parrot with extremely complicated screaming, attacking, pair-bonded behavior that won’t let you out of their sight without an intrusive cascade of undesirable behaviors can be a problem for the entire household. It also means layers of stress when you are torn between appeasing your parrot and your family. This excerpt from our deep dive masterclass series for members of the Avian Behavior Lab helps us look at the angles of this complex issue and how we tease apart which challenge we take on first from a science-based perspective. This series was extremely enriching, and we know you ..read more
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Overcoming Aggression: Practical Solutions for Challenging Parrot Behavior
Avian Behavior International Blog
by ShanaY
2M ago
Today we are going to share some invaluable insights we uncover as case studies from our consultations, diving into the intricate world of complex parrot behavior scenarios. These discussions have been enlightening, offering practical strategies and highlighting the importance of addressing biases while understanding the role of our own self-care throughout the process. This is not something many people address when it comes to how intrusive parrot behavior issues can be, but it’s an essential ingredient for success. One of the foundational aspects we’ve explored is the critical understanding ..read more
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69 Gail Buhl from the Minnesota Raptor Center and Partners for Wildlife
Avian Behavior International Blog
by Hillary Hankey
2M ago
This interview with Gail Buhl from the Minnesota Raptor Center and Partners for Wildlife is a thoughtful journey filled with raptor behavior tidbits, the evolution of operant conditioning in bird behavior management, raptor rehabilitation, imprinting and so much more. We talk about how working with rehabilitated birds of prey provides such a unique tapestry that has informed our progression as trainers to humane methods of choice based training, and Gail’s owl mentors in her work with small owls. We go into depth about how providing these crucial contingencies gives our birds a language that t ..read more
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68 Why I don’t use ad lib weights or base weights: falconry and free flight birds
Avian Behavior International Blog
by Hillary Hankey
3M ago
We are going to talk about an old school term in weight management of free flying and ambassador birds, and that is ad lib weight. Another term might be trap weight or base weight. Reason why this is old school is that for some people implies your bird has this same reference weight throughout their lives, regardless of muscle tone, seasonality, and age and it can be downright dangerous. There are many issues with ad lib weights, such as how we figure it out without coercion or restraint, the assumption that all birds can achieve steady state, and that some birds come from a place of food tra ..read more
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67 What we learned about birds in 2023
Avian Behavior International Blog
by Hillary Hankey
5M ago
  What did we learn about birds in 2023? What was the big bird news of the year? Hillary sits down with fellow falconer, bird lover, and owl enthusiast Simone Lupson-Cook to talk about our favorite facts about bird behavior, ethology, conservation, and more that we learned about birds this year. From birds in the news, our visit to the Raptor Research Foundation Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and reading books together, we share our favorite facts that we have come across, from snowy owl talons, barn owl math, and the many many threats that face birds globally past and present. B ..read more
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Whatever it Takes: Collaboration to Save a Species
Avian Behavior International Blog
by Hillary Hankey
5M ago
In this day and age, finding examples of cross-disciplinary collaboration to reach a mutual goal is not as easy as you would think. As much as we love to share our passions, a quick scan of social media comments will reveal that often we are divided even in the pursuit of how we need to achieve a common goal. Fortunately, there are some cases where leaders of their field have shown that this is not going to be the case in something that truly matters on a global scale. Such is the case with a team that is working to save the Southern ground hornbill from extinction. In August 2023, Avian Behav ..read more
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66 Dr. Lucy Kemp on Lead Poisoning in Ground Hornbills
Avian Behavior International Blog
by Hillary Hankey
5M ago
Lead poisoning is a really big deal for wildlife, and Southern Ground Hornbills appear to be particularly sensitive to lead levels in the blood. In August, Avian Behavior International visited the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project in South Africa to identify some key behavior objectives to enhance the reintroduction strategy for the Southern ground hornbill. This bird has one complicated life strategy, punctuated by a long life and intricate social structure. If you are interested in how ethology impacts your work with conservation ambassadors, check out the Avian Behavior Lab, where we discuss ..read more
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