Parrot Parrot

Books

These are bird books I recommend for pet bird owners who want to become more informed about their particular species of parrot and behavior and health issues that are critical for you to understand to keep happy and healthy birds.

Books on Lovebirds

The Lovebird Handbook

by Vera Appleyard

I ‘m recommending the book I wrote because I have read quite a few books on lovebirds and I see a lot of misinformation out there. The book was published by Barron’s, which does an extensive series of pet books. The photos are great too!

Why am I excited? Well, besides the fact I wrote the book, I also think it fills a very large gap in the literature on lovebirds. The book helps owners forget all those myths about singles vs. pairs, grit, and lovebird behavior. It’s a great book for first-time owners, but also has a lot of info on how to keep a lovebird tame (and bite-free), and how to work with a lovebird has started biting. If you are dabbling with the idea of breeding, I’ve written a very concise chapter on basics for getting started, as well as a very clear and straight-forward chapter on basic color genetics. If other books have made your head spin when you started to read about genetics, this book will help you get the solid foundation so that you can easily approach more advanced genetics.

Learn more about The Lovebird Handbook

The Colored Atlas of Lovebirds

Subtitled “Agapornis: More than a Hobby, A Passion!”

A must-have for aficionados of these feisty little African parrots.  An excellent choice for anyone interested in the various color mutations of lovebirds. Loads of photos and detailed information on the genetics of mutations.  It has a nifty guide on how to tell a bird’s color when it’s still a little baby fluff ball!  For example, a 2-day-old creamino will have red eyes, ochre beak, dull white down, and yellowish salmon skin while a 2-day-old green orangeface will have dark eyes, grayish black beak, orange down, and light orange skin!

Learn more about The Colored Atlas of Lovebirds

Parrot Behavior

Companion Parrot Handbook

by Sally Blanchard

Published by the Pet Bird Information Center
A book from one of the most sought-after avian behaviorists in the United States.  Sally Blanchard has been writing a behavioral column for Bird Talk Magazine for many years. Her advice and expertise in this area have made her one of the most popular speakers on the pet bird club and show circuits. She bases her recommendations on an underlying notion of nuturing guidance. This book is a must-have for anyone who owns a parrot, but most important, for anyone CONSIDERING buying a parrot.  You can prevent behavioral problems if you are prepared from the outset to properly socialize your bird. Many people think a bird is socialized just during the few weeks or months of handfeeding, but this is an ongoing process. A growing young bird needs proper guidance to live happily with your “flock.”  If you buy one book this year on bird behavior, make this the one!

Learn more about The Companion Parrot Handbook

The Pleasure of Their Company:
An Owner’s Guide to Parrot Training

By Bonnie Munro Doane, Richard Cole

Hardcover, 216 pages. Published in May 1998 by Macmillan

Once and a while a truly excellent book on parrots is published. Here is that once-and-a-while book. “The Pleasure of Their Company” is, in a word, parroterrific!  In the last year or so I’ve had some terrible behavioral issues develop with my 4-year-old Senegal, Maxwell.  Often when birds reach sexual maturity territoriality and aggressiveness can increase exponentially. If you’ve made mistakes in training your young bird, you can bet you’ll have problems when the bird reaches full adulthood. I wish I’d had this book 4 years ago when I first brought home my darling baby senegal.  The author pulls no punches, reminding us that our birds depend on us for guidance and that we are ultimately responsible for their behavior. This is a book that will help newcomers who are already spoiling their weanlings and old-timers who are now reaping the consequences of having spoiled their birds for years. The advice is so excellent I’m reassessing everything I do with my young bluefront amazon BEFORE she gets into trouble! She’s 2 years old now…I think I’ve caught it in time ;-)

This is the same author who brought us ”The Parrot in Health and Illness,” an indispensable guide for those who own companion birds, and ”My Parrot, My Friend,” also a great book for those who want to understand their parrots better.  “Pleasure of Their Company” focuses on specific training exercises that will improve current behavior and prevent future behavioral issues.  It includes the latest information on parrot psychology, an area of aviculture that has grown enormously in recent years.  If more people read books like this, there would be fewer abandoned parrots out there on the adoption merry-go-round! If you can only afford ONE BOOK on birds THIS IS THE BOOK TO BUY!

Learn more about The Pleasure of Their Company

Avian Medicine

by B.H. Coles

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Hardcover, 416 pages.  Published June 1998 by Blackwell Science.

A remarkably affordable tome for aviculturists.  It truly changes your perspective on your parrots when you study a book like this!  While it is designed for veterinarians, much of it will be accessible to experienced bird folks. I refer to my copy all the time. It has good charts on every possible disease that can befall your feathered friends.  It’s much better than those texts that are intended for laymen and goes into much greater detail on signs and symptoms, diagnostic techniques, and current treatments.  The best bird owner is an educated bird owner–you may find that after reading this text you can help your veterinarian diagnose problems in your birds!

Learn more about Avian Medicine

Gift Books – Coffee Table Parrot Books

Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World

Hardcover, 580 pages. Published by Yale University Press

The most recent ultimate guide for parrot lovers. Covers all the species, with an emphasis on field identification of parrots. Cockatoos, macaws, parakeets, lovebirds, budgies, and more.  This is one of those definitive texts every bird lover should have in their home! A truly beautiful book.

Learn more about A Guide to Parrots of the World

Bird Health

The Complete Bird Owner’s Handbook

by Gary A. Gallerstein, Heather Acker

Hardcover – 320 pages New edition
Howell Book House

An excellent book for those who own companion birds. It’s vet stuff for laymen, and will provide you with invaluable information about your bird’s health and well-being. Any house with birds needs a good guide to their health to prevent serious disease and illness that could easily be treated if recognized on time.

Learn more about The Complete Bird Owner’s Handbook

The Parrot in Health and Illness: An Owner’s Guide

By Bonnie Munro Doane

Hardcover, 338 pages.  Published by Howell Book Hoose.

An excellent resource for anyone who keeps companion birds.  It should be read cover-to-cover so that you are acutely aware of the signs of illness in parrots.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “I didn’t even realize the bird was sick until I found him on the bottom of the cage!”  Parrots are very good at masking signs of illness. This is a survival mechanism, because in the wild a sick bid would be easily preyed upon.  You need to know how to recognize the subtle signs of illness, from the color of droppings to changes in appetite.  Keep this book with your first aid kit!

Learn more about The Parrot in Health and Illness

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