Flock! 2023

  • Overview

  • Schedule

  • CEUs & Pricing

Event Begins: October 28, 2023

Join us for the IAABC Foundation’s first dedicated Parrot Conference on October 28, 2023 from 9:00am-5:30pm (EDT).

FLOCK! is for parrot lovers, parrot trainers, parrot behavior consultants, and people who are fascinated by parrots.

What does this mean for our attendees?  We’re taking a deep dive into understanding the overall needs of the parrots we work with and live with, ranging from health, nutrition, age, safety, stress, enrichment and the family dynamics.  A solid understanding of the science allows us to operationalize it for our clients and improve the lives of parrots and their caregivers.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the amazing speakers and topics we have scheduled:


  • Dr. Eduardo Fernandez (Australia), speaking on the latest in his research on the impact of training on behavior.
  • Dr. Susan Friedman (US), presenting an Introduction to Behavior Analysis and Training.
  • Dr. Susan Orosz, DVM (US), addressing the connection between behavior problems and improving a parrot’s overall health; regular vet care requirements; and fostering a solid relationship with your avian vet.
  • Hildegard Niemann (GER), discussing the natural behavior of parrots, social structure of different species, communication within the flock and how helping owners understand this helps them better address parrot’s needs.

Make sure you FLOCK! with us and get registered today. You don’t want to miss out!

Each presentation is approximately 1 hour in length and will be followed with a live 30 minute Q&A session with the speaker.


Click the “About Your Instructor” tab for talk descriptions and instructor information.


October 28, 2023

9:00-10:30 Eduardo Fernandez, PhD – Training as Enrichment: A Critical Review:

Husbandry training and environmental enrichment are both important advancements associated with current behavioral welfare practices. Additionally, the use of training procedures has been proposed as a form of enrichment, with the implication that training can produce beneficial behavioral welfare results. Less clear are the specific testable ways in which training can be demonstrated to be enriching, beyond simply providing opportunities to be enriched.
This presentation examines the concept of training as enrichment through three distinct ways training procedures could enrich: (1) training facilitates enrichment usage, (2) training modifies interactions, conspecific or otherwise, and (3) training expands behavioral repertoires. Within each category, I discuss past research that provides empirical support for training functioning as enrichment, as well as related areas of research that provide additional evidence. Previous studies support the claim that training is enriching, with additional research necessary to better understand how prevalent and under what conditions training procedures function as enrichment. Future training research should examine these potential enrichment effects, including methodology that allows for comparisons to traditional enrichment, the use of welfare diversity/variability indices, and the effects of learning on trainers and trainees alike.

10:30-10:40 Break
 10:40-12:10 Hildegard Niemann, CPBC – Parrot Behavior in Social Context: How Nature Influences Pet Bird Keeping:

Keeping parrots as pets and aviary birds has a long tradition in the human-animal relationship. Of the nearly 400 species of parrots, 80 species are regularly kept as pets. Each species has its own social behavior, environmental and nutritional needs. In this presentation, we will focus on the social structure of the different parrot species, how it affects communication in the flock where the birds live, and how this behavior affects communication with the bird owner. Misunderstandings and false expectations often lead to serious problem behaviors and can jeopardize the continued ownership of numerous birds. Bullying, stalking, and aggression are often recognized, especially in households where parrots are kept in flocks and groups. The goal for pet bird owners must therefore be to understand the natural behavior of their birds and to address it in their husbandry, which for the owners also means adapting their own husbandry and behavior to the specific needs of their individual birds.

 12:10-12:20 Break
 12:20-13:50 Susan Friedman, PhD – How WE Learn: An Introduction to Behavior Analysis and Training:

This talk is designed to expand your understanding of behavior and learning. It includes an overview of 6 fundamental and inspiring topics in animal behavior consulting and training. These topics are 1) an evolutionary view of learning and behavior; 2) a review of the science of behavior-change called behavior analysis; 3) common obstacles to the scientific analysis of learning and behavior; 4) ABC assessment to better understand, predict and change behavior; 5) the errorless learning philosophy and antecedent arrangement to make the right behavior more likely; 6) the relevance of the least intrusive procedure to ethical use of training procedures. This big picture overview is a perspective changer, for sure

 13:50-14:50 Lunch Break (1 hour)
14:50-16:20 Dr. Susan Orosz – How Health and Age Affect Behavior and Why Birds Need a Specialized Avian Veterinarian:

Dr. Orosz is renowned for her knowledge of anatomy, neuroscience, diagnostics, diseases, aging birds, herbals, and nutrition. Since a bird’s health will have a major influence on its behavior, it’s important to make sure our parrots are receiving regular veterinary care from an avian specialist. Some behavior problems can be addressed by simply improving a bird’s health status – which includes a quality diet, sleep, space, attention to aging issues, labs, and disease management.

16:20-16:30 Break
16:30-17:30 Panel Discussion featuring Susan Orosz PHD, DVM, DIPL ABVP (AVIAN), DIPL ECZM (Avian); Eduardo Fernandez, PhD; Ann Brooks, CPBC; Debbie Foster CPBT-KA, CPBC; and Sheila Blanchette CPBC, UW-AAB.


  • (Pending)


  • $150

Cancellation Policy: We will refund 90% up to 30 days pre-event. A 50% refund will be available up to 15 days pre-event. After these deadlines, no refunds will be issued.