VSPN TECH281-0120: Avian Handling and Behavior Basics

The lectures for this course will be presented in an audio format using a webinar platform.

Enrollment is closed.


Sarah Kolb, RVT, VTS-CP (Exotic Companion Animals)

Course Open: January 29-March 7, 2020
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Wednesdays, February 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2020; 8:30-10:00 pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter

Level and Prerequisites: This basic course is open to all members that see avian patients in practice or has an interest in learning about avian behavior and handling.
VSPN CE Course: “This program has been approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval."(22-38874)

Course Description:
This course is designed to provide participants with information about avian behavior in relation to restraint and handling of healthy and unhealthy birds. Participants will learn how to interact with birds by assessing body language, applying low-stress handling techniques, and incorporating positive reinforcement training. Participants will also evaluate case studies that address avian behavior modification and strengthening the human-animal bond. Common problem behaviors will be discussed, including aggression, fear, reproductive behaviors, and feather destruction.

Week 1 (Real Time Session February 5): Avian Restraint & Handling in the Hospital
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to:
  • Identify clinical signs of an unhealthy bird.
  • Demonstrate various methods of approaching a bird in the clinical setting.
  • Understand parrot body language within a clinic setting.
  • Identify signs of fear or aggression.
  • Demonstrate restraint methods of diverse sizes and species of birds for physical exams, sample collection, and diagnostic tests.
Week 2 (Real Time Session February 12): Avian Behavior Basics
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to: <
  • Discuss avian body language and behavior in the wild and in captivity.
  • Understand different learning styles.
  • Council owners on how to find a motivator for their pet parrot.
  • Understand how to build trust between a pet parrot and owner.
  • Understand the importance of foraging and enrichment for pet parrots.
Week 3 (Real Time Session February 19): Problem Behaviors in the Pet Parrot
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to:
  • Council owners on methods of dealing with problem behaviors in their pet parrot, including biting, chewing, deferred aggression, and inappropriate screaming.
  • Discuss how to train the hand shy bird.
  • Discuss reproductive behaviors and appropriate interactions between owners and their pet parrots to prevent reproductive behaviors.
Week 4 (Real Time Session February 26): Feather Destruction Disorder
Objectives: Upon completion of this session, the participant should be able to:
  • Identify avian species prone to feather destruction behaviors.
  • Discuss the medical and behavioral causes of feather destruction behaviors.
  • Discuss treatment and behavior modification techniques for birds demonstrating behavioral feather destruction.
  • Discuss behavior modification medications.
Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course.
To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required Textbook: There is no required textbook for this course.

About the Presenter:
Sarah Kolb, RVT VTS-CP (Exotic Companion Animals) graduated from Minnesota School of Health Science/Globe College in 2005 and is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology through St. Petersburg College in Florida. She has worked in the Primary Care/Exotic Companion Animal Department and Wildlife Care Clinic at Iowa State University Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center located in Ames, Iowa, since 2006. In 2015, Sarah achieved VTS status with the AVTCP- exotic companion animals. Sarah is also a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and parrot foster home for her local Animal Rescue League. Sarah is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and serves on multiple committees for the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice (AVTCP). In addition, Sarah has published articles in both the NAVTA Journal and Veterinary Nurses Today and has lectured at various national conferences. Sarah resides in Boone, IA, with 8 parrots, her husband, two kids, and a small backyard flock of chickens.

Total CE Credit: 6

Tuition: $126 ($113 early bird special if enrolled by January 15, 2020)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on February 5, 2020 at 5 pm ET (USA) or when the maximum number of participants is reached.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

To Enroll:
  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from @vspn.org and @vin.com addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email . Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
Enrollment is closed.

“This program has been approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval." (22-38874)

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN office 800-846-0028 ext. 797 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

*For more information on VSPN's upcoming CE courses, check the VSPN Course Catalog.

Lisa Kernaghan, LVT, RVT, CVT, VTS (ECC)
VSPN CE Coordinator

VSPN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357