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Hagen’s Parrot Life Seminar offers Tips, Techniques and Info – and New Bird Toys

December 22, 2009

MANSFIELD, Mass. Bird product retailers, rescue facility managers and aviculturists recently flew down to Kissimmee, Florida for the second annual Hagen Avicultural Research Institute (HARI) Parrot Life One-Day Seminar, an event dedicated entirely to avian topics focused on HARI-approved methods and products. 

This year’s event was designed to appeal to retailers and also be educational for bird owners in general.  Because of this, and the Florida Federation of Aviculturists promoting the event as a commitment to education in avian care, the One-Day Seminar saw an increase in aviculturist attendance over last year’s event.

At the seminar, Hagen introduced its new Living World Nature’s Treasure line of all natural, multi-textured bird toys made with buri leaves, coco shells and husks, bamboo and abaca rope.  The chewable, non-toxic toys are safe for all birds and do not contain tree wood from wild or endangered trees, rubber, plastic, latex or toxic chemicals. Only food-grade coloring agents are used to give the toys their fun, fiesta-style hues.  Available in small, medium and large sizes, the toys come in several shapes, including lanterns, piñatas, stars, cubes and rings.  The toys were offered at a special seminar-only price with proceeds going toward the American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) Conservation Fund, which offers financial assistance to wild avian conservation projects throughout the world.

One of the highlights of the seminar was a live demonstration of HARI-approved products by aviculturist Fred Smith who brought two of his macaws.  Smith used his Hyacinth Macaw to show attendees how to properly towel, health check and groom a bird. He also demonstrated the proper way to give baby birds a well check on his five-week-old Blue and Gold Macaw.  The brilliantly-colored birds are ideal for demonstrations because their large size makes audience viewing easier and their vibrant hues make them stunning to watch.

Other demonstrations included HARI Avian Health Technician Josee Bermingham showing the importance of allowing a bird to exercise its wings for muscle development and explaining the use of a new HARI product, Living World Clay Cal.  Additionally, HARI Avian Product Specialist Melanie Allen explained the meaning of Caloric Density, a key element in Living World’s Tropican bird food.

Attendees were treated to a catered lunch and everyone received a Parrot Life Seminar Booklet that summarized the information provided at the event.  Those in attendance also received door prizes, which included items such as HARI-approved bird food products, scales for weighing birds and jewelry designed exclusively for the seminar by HARI customer Jean “The African Queen” Pattinson.  Aviculturalist Jennifer Trescastro of Jacksonville, Florida, won the $200 grand door prize, a first aid kit containing many of the items on the HARI-approved list in the Parrot Life Booklet. 

HARI is located in Rigaud, Quebec, and was established in 1985 to study the captive breeding and maintenance of companion birds. At present, the breeding colony houses over 350 pairs of more than 50 various parrot species.  HARI’s research fields include disease control, pair bonding, nutrition and the influence of temperature, humidity and light cycles on breeding. Progress has been rapid in the area of feeding research at HARI.  For more information, visit  The website features bird care sheets, articles on companion birds, and papers on many of their findings. 

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