Parrot Behavior and Training Online Course

Colorful and intelligent, parrots are frequently found as companions in the home and as educational ambassadors in zoological institutions. However, this diverse group of birds can present many behavioral challenges that human caretakers may find difficult to manage in the home or while at work. How do we navigate these unique challenges while establishing a successful and enriching environment for the parrots in our lives?


This course is designed for those working in close proximity with any parrot species, whether as companion animals in the home or as educational ambassadors. A good understanding of the science of behavior change principles is suggested, and the only prerequisite is a desire to expand one’s knowledge and skill set! The goals of this course are to: 
1) empower attendees with effective strategies for applying the scientific principles of behavior change to the parrots in their lives at the highest possible level
2) increase the welfare experienced by parrots living in human care
3) provide tools for trainers of all levels that increases their ability to successfully navigate behavioral challenges with their parrots

Course content will include (but is not limited to) the following topics:

The Science of Behavior

  • Exploring important science-based procedures and an overview of principles such as:
    • “The ABCs”
    • Reinforcement and Punishment
    • Control as a primary reinforcer
    • Bridging/Event Markers
    • …and much more!

Free Flight

  • Safety Considerations
  • The Right Bird for the Job
  • To Clip or Not to Clip?
  • Managing Motivation
  • Options for Telemetry

What’s the Function?

  • Tools for interpreting and making positive change with unwanted behaviors including:
    • Excessive Vocalization
    • Feather Destructive Behavior
    • Human-directed Aggression
  • Another perspective on common advice from “the experts”
    • Height dominance
    • “Taking the bite”
    • Jealousy
    • Accepted “how-to’s” for behaviors like
      • Stepping up
      • Open wings
      • Petting
      • Parent-reared vs hand-reared


This course will be taught by Steve Martin and the senior staff of NEI.

Course Structure

The course involves four consecutive webinar presentations (one per week) of 90 minutes each, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers and case study. Attendees may submit descriptions or videos of behaviors they would like to discuss during the course of the webinar series. The webinar presentations will be recorded, and registered attendees will have access to the recordings after the course is completed. After the course, a certificate of completion will be sent to the registered attendee. Please contact to inquire about CEUs.

Dates and tuition for this course will be announced in the future.
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CEUs may be available for IATCB, IAABC, CCPDT (CBCC and CPDT) and KPA – if you are interested in CEUs for another organization, please contact them for additional information. Contact if you have any questions.