I’m Joanna and I’m thrilled to be part of BirbObserver and to have this opportunity to communicate birb behavior science. When I was three, I played Pollypenisia, Dr. Doolittle’s talking African Grey Parrot in a children’s theater production of Dr. Doolittle. I’ve been talking about parrots ever since!
I have recently given lectures on parrot behavior at the Animal Behavior Management Alliance and Ecuadorian Veterinary Ethology Conferences. I founded the Animal Behavior Consultancy LLC where I provide behavior consultations to help parrots and their people to live their best lives. My birb behavior patients have included screaming Cockatoos, depressed African Greys, a self-mutilating Sun Conure, and a feather-picking Parakeet.
Before starting my business, I completed a Masters of Science in Applied Animal Behavior and Animal Welfare at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh. For my MSc Dissertation, I conducted a scientific study of African Grey Parrot social and foraging behavior in an aviary at Project Perry, the Central Virginia Parrot Sanctuary. Before my Master’s degree, I worked as an Exotics Veterinary Nurse where I cared for hundreds of companion birds. I also completed Susan G Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals Professional course which focused on training companion parrots using applied behavior analysis.
I have volunteered with wild birds including assisting with raptor rehabilitation and I am passionate about wildlife conservation. I live surrounded by beautiful wild birds in Virginia, USA. I have six beloved backyard chickens who I train using positive reinforcement.
Joanna Berger, MSc with her behavior patient Libby the Lesser Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo.