Enrich Lives, Take Flight: Birds for Dummies


My friend and colleague, journalist and Fear Free Happy Homes editor Kim Campbell Thornton co-edited (with Dr. Brian Speer and Gina Spadafori) Birds for Dummies  and unfortunate title in some ways because the book is so comprehensive, and an update from the original Birds for Dummies, 20 years ago.

For example, we talk about the importance or urgency of enrichment for all pet parrot species, and also pet chickens. And, by the way, it’s a good thing if the bird destroys toys. In Birds for Dummies, there are lots of examples of toys that’ll cost you nothing – like the fashion magazine Kim says that I’ve just read.

We talk about the somewhat controversial topic of clipping wings. Flying – when it’s safe (away from the kitchen and open windows for example) – is beneficial for pet birds. She says, “You can train birds to come when you call, just like a dog or a cat,” except they may not run to you – but will fly to you. Training teaches you to communicate with them, and supports the human/animal bond. The book also includes how to positively train birds, and information on the importance of foraging.