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AFA Conference 2005. Miami, FL
The AFA is the American Federation of Aviculture.
The 2007 conference is being held in LA.
Some of the key topics were:
*Parrot Welfare Organizations by Julie Murad.
*Video and talks about wild parrot
populations in the US.
*The Spix Macaw project by Loro Parque.
*Legislative status on parrots held in captivity.
*Parrots International's Saving the Baby Blues.
*Going to Parrot Jungle Island.
*Great Banquet and Vendors to talk to.
*Meeting great personalities such as: Susan
Friedman, Mattie Sue Athan, Susan Clubb
and Melissa Kaufman, among many others!

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Lecture about the Spix Macaw Project at Loro Parque from Matthias.

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Meeting new friends. Susan Friedman gives big smiles at Banquet.

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Eclectus flies to friend Karen at Parrot Jungle Island.

2006 RAW Conference--Galveston, TX
Presented Paper about Fish
Enrichment, a controversial
topic at the time. Presented
data on how active enrichment
activities such as curtaining
tanks, gating systems, addition
of novelty items to toss around
or tug at significantly reduced
aggressive behavior between
tankmates despite increased
population size over time.

Another paper presented discussed
target training sharks which was
fascinating! "I don't know why
the shark's behavior of laying
at the bottom of the tank
changed, but they stopped laying on
the bottom of the tank everyday when
we implemented this program."
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Inside the Rainforest Exhibit at Moody Gardens. I was 7 months pregnant at the time!

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The Rainforest Pyramid. Despite being all about fish, I had to go hang out with birds!

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Moody Gardens. Sponsor of the RAW conference.

IAATE CONFERENCE February 2007, Tacoma WA
This conference was PACKED with
tons of information about a wide
variety of birds, not just parrots.
Have you ever heard the phrase,
"wise old owl"? Simply not true.

Some of the highlights were:
*Choosing the right candidate--how to
select the best representative for
the task at hand. WOW!
*Designing a variety of shows to
appeal to audiences.
*Dr. Darryl Styles lecture about
the current status of Avian Influenza.
*Sid Price's lecture about removing
the "constructs" like aggression and
look at the behavior like hitting the
glove hard and how to rethink the
training process.
*Andy Hall's Fundamentals of Applied
Behavioral Analysis or ABA.
*Going behind the scenes at Point
Defiance Zoo and Aquarium!
*Sharing ideas and techniques among
collegues including great workshops!
*The banquet!! Eat all you want!

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Everyone who attended this year's conference.

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Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium's view of Mt. Rainier. Sponsor of the 2007 IAATE conference.

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Training 101 workshop presented by Barbara. The Training Game--be trained without words!

APRIL 2007 Parrots International Conference. UCLA, CA
I have been very lucky to have attended
so many great conferences.  Parrots
International should be one everyone
attends every year!  Their conference was
packed with everything to know about
conservation of wild parrots!  I will make 
Parrots International a regular destination.
 
This year's theme was about Blue
Macaws. So, hyancinths,lears, spix, blue
throated macaws were the focus. 
 
Many, many great speakers.  My favorites
included:
Dr. Yara Barros--her talks about the many
efforts the Brazilian government is doing
to support various parrot programs.  The
most critical program being that of
protecting the Lears Macaws due to
damaging corn. 
Dr. Donald Brightsmith--looking at the
overall trends he has seen over the years
of data at Tambopata Research Center
which showed how extensive birds range
over the course of a year.
Dr. Susan Friedman--Her talk on behavior
and how it can easily correlate with
recovery efforts.  For example, she used
the Lear Macaw problem and trying to
identify what is causing the behavior to
begin with and then how to substitute a
more desirable behavior for them.
Dr. Darryl Styles--a reiteration of what I
learned about Avian Influenza at IAATE. 
It was packed with even more detail on
how the virus works, how it started,
its current state.
Dr. David Waugh--about the various
efforts Loro Parque sponsors and then
their facility!  WOW! I gave them a
Parrot Pocket or two to try out!

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Great lecture that tied in behavior with conservation by Susan Friedman! I just love her!

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It was great seeing Don again! I hadn't seen him since 2002!

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My roommates Hieidi and Diane Starnes(NPRPF).

2008 Houston Parrot Festival.  Houston, TX
The Houston Parrot Festival is
sponsored by NPRPF--National
Parrot Rescue and Preservation
Foundation.
 
The best part about the festival
were all of the great festivities
surrounding a bunch of great
speakers:
Dr. Rebecca Fox--cockatiel "love"
why personality matters!
Dr. Ian Tizard--panelist about
PDD. 
Dr. Debra McDonald--about avian
nutrition.  Especially a lot of
insight about Vitamin A excess
and deprivation in common
foods.
Barbara Heinreich--reinforcers
and creating motivation.
 
Diane Starnes is the VP of
NPRPF and was my roommate
at Parrots International.
 
Some of the fun things:  an
auction, a daily birdy raffle
where I won a stained glass
parrot, talking to all of the
vendors and there were ALOT!

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NPRPF knows how to decorate and party like a parrot!

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What a great idea to have any question asked by the audience to the complete panel of speakers.

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Hiedi from Gabriel Foundation was so much fun! Truly, I made a great friend!

Smiles smiling at NPRPF
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We had nearly everyone who loves parrots in WA in TX at once! This was my last time I saw Smiles.

2009 Houston Parrot Festival.  Houston, TX
The Houston Parrot Festival is
sponsored by NPRPF--National
Parrot Rescue and Preservation
Foundation.
 
It should be important to note that
I plan on attending NPRPF and PI
each year as I can.  These are
both tremendously valuable
conferences that go to good causes.
 
This year at NPRPF, the speaker
selection was great!
 
STEVE MARTIN:  His video and
lecture was so moving, he got a
standing ovation.  He emphasized
how we need to be as positive as
possible with our interactions
with parrots.  He paid particular
detail on how minute an aversive
stimulus can be and then how to
avoid them.  How having a
flighted parrot allows them to have
even more choices.
SID PRICE:  The definitions of the
science of behavior and then
applying the science to moral
choices of training.  He included my
question of 100% response in his
lecture and was very interactive.
BRIAN SPEER:  Wow!  I wish he
would teach all vets how to think
about the behavior of the animal
as well as the clinical neccessities.
He is a very personable person
and discussed how he feels that
even wing and nail trims are not
the mundane procedures we perceive.
 
It is really special to meet up
with the "Washingtonian Clan"
and stay together.  There are a lot
of Washingtonians represented at
NPRPF each year.  Sue's friend,
Peggy, brought out birds in the
lobby for our bird fixes. 
 

2009 AAZK/ICZ Conference.  Seattle, WA
I was privileged to speak at AAZK, the American
Zookeepers Association, that was held in Seattle
this year.  The topic was about Fish Enrichment 
and it received great reviews. 

I met people from ALL OVER the world!
South Africa
Netherlands
Australia
Ireland
Canada
Indonesia
Philippines
Japan
To name a few...

We attended great workshops like
The Bushmeat Trade
Enrichment
Back the Basics in Training

Robin Shewokis was also there and
it was great seeing her again.

We went to the Point Defiance
Zoo and Aquarium, Seattle Aquarium
AND Woodland Park Zoo.  

It was wonderful to meet fellows in
the profession of keeping animals and 
to help causes such as Polar Bear
International (PBI) and SaveNature.org.  
Keep up the great work!!

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