During the 1960s I was very impressed by Fern Hubbel and Eleanor Cooley, two aviculturists who were expert in the art of handfeeding baby birds.
In the 1970s, Robert ]. Berty, then Curator of Birds at the Houston Zoo, produced one of the first and best videos on handfeeding birds. This was just at the time when handfeeding was becoming more prevalent.
Shortly thereafter, we at Aviculture Institute created our own handfeeding video and during the process learned just how difficult it really is to create an accurate documentary on this complex subject. Handfeeding is not a simple matter, no matter what anyone tells you. There are brooders, temperatures, syringes and spoons, bedding, records, and, of course, the baby bird.
With these experiences in my background, I was very delighted to observe a video on handfeeding parrots done by Rosemary Low and Rob Harvey. Believe me, even in 1997 the ability to handfeed is extremely important to the success of any avicultural operation.
This video by Low and Harvey is veiy detailed-which is why it is so good. Both Rosemary Low and Rob Harvey discuss the many aspects of hand rearing psittacines and they do not leave out any details. From discussion, Low and Harvey move into the actual demonstration of handfeeding techniques. Much of the video shows Rosemary Low actually handfeeding babies, from the veiy young to the almost weaned, while she explains each and every step as she goes through the process.
Many things some of us learned
from trial and error in the past (often to the detriment of the hirds we experimented on) are clarified in this video. The video is a definite must for any newcomer wishing to learn handfeeding from the beginning. It will save the novice countless errors and will also help the old master polish his technique.
Rosemary Low brings a new understanding to the delicate art of handfeeding. She takes us through the complete process from hatching to the difficult weaning period. With so many baby parrots currently heing stunted due to incorrect handfeeding techniques, this video is a definite guide that can counteract and correct the problem.
Besides the basics of handrearing, Low is constantly giving additional tidbits and helpful hints throughout the video. She mentions, for example, that far too many people wean their babies too early. She suggests that stunting is caused by feeding too little, using a formula that is too thin, or failing to feed often enough in a day. There are many other comments that will greatly increase the understanding of those who handfeed parrots.
Though this video was produced in England, the terms and products are familiar to viewers in the United States. Aside from Rosemary Low's delightful English accent, the video could easily have been done in the nursery of an American aviculturist.
Having myself taught handfeeding techniques to many American aviculturists, I know the difficulties and can enthusiastically recommend Hand Rearing Parrots by Rosemary Low and Roh Harvey. It is a good piece of work at a time when it is very much needed.
Hand Rearing Parrots by Rosemary Low and Roh Harvey can he obtained for $24.99, plus $5 s/h (Florida residents add 6% sales tax) from:
Brinsea Products, Inc., 3670 Hopkins Avenue Titusville, FL 32780 USA Telephone 407-267-7009