Reading List: From Diet & Behavior to Conservation
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In the words of Lisa Peterson, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Society,”We tend to gravitate to pets that reflect our own personalities.”
This must explain why parrot people are so dang smart.
Here at Pushykin, we love to read, and honestly, if the book isn’t about parrots, it’s probably not worth our time! We want inside their brains.
We want to understand and fulfill their instincts. We want them to live long, happy, and enriched lives, so we’ll take all the knowledge we can get.
The books on this list are either my personal recommendations, or books that have been recommended to me by other brainiacs in the parrot community. Let’s get into it!
Of Parrots and People is a startling exposé by Mira Tweti that chronicles the depravity of the global parrot trade while also revealing the uncanny ability of parrots to bond with humans. Jane Goodall herself called the book, “Compassionate and very entertaining, a book for animal lovers anywhere.”
Across the board, avian experts agree that the majority of health and behavioral issues that captive parrots experience are due to deficits in their diet. This cookbook includes over 60 unique and healthy recipes, a 12 page nutritional list, and a plethora of articles on avian nutrition and the importance of dietary diversity.
I’ve held onto my version of Parrot Tricks for a long time and refer to it often. This endlessly valuable guide gives readers step-by-step instructions on everything from targeting and necessary obedience skills to more advanced tricks like riding a skateboard and talking using the Positive Reward Method.
All of LoraKim Joyner’s works should be required reading for both new and experienced parrot owners. As one of the world’s foremost conservation journalists, Joyner profoundly speaks to a world where climate change, political polarization, terrorism, and loss of biodiversity pose a threat to all life.
Australia is a land of unusual and striking birds that have existed in isolation there for tens of millions of years. Tim Low’s eye-opening book explains the extraordinary nature of our parrots and their ancestors, the ecological role they play in the wild, and the remarkable story of wild parrots in Australia that continues to unfold.
Alan Bond and Judy Diamond’s Thinking like a Parrot provides rich insight into parrot intelligence along with the flexibility and resilience of parrots to persist in the wild despite all odds. The book also explores a question relevant to us all: why exactly do captive parrots, still wild at heart, form social bonds with their humans? Is it out of love? Or survival?
My Parrot, My Friend addresses human misunderstandings of avian nature and development along with perspectives on how and why behavioral problems begin. The novel is great for anyone considering getting a parrot for the first time, as it aims to help potential parrot owners find the right bird for them.