Free advice from “The Bird Doctor” highlights April 8 Bird Fest

Published March 20, 2006 ~ By David F. Ashton

Seen here nursing a baby bird back to health, “The Bird Doctor”, veterinarian Pamela A. Burke will give free advice at the East Portland Bird Festival on April 8. David F. Ashton Photo

Veterinarian Pamela A. Burke is known in the greater Portland area as “The Bird Doctor”. From little tweety-birds to mighty Macaws, Burke‚Äôs passion is for winged creatures. On April 8, Dr. Burke will give free advice at the East Portland Bird Festival.

Asked why one should seek out the services of a bird “specialist”, Burke tells us, “We‚Äôre like any medical specialist. Because I‚Äôve spent my career caring for birds, I‚Äôm able to quickly diagnose problems and recommend treatments. Would you want horse vet trying to save your cat‚Äôs life?”

Dr. Burke says it takes specialized knowledge to do even simple procedures correctly. “Take a wing trim, for example. I only cut enough rachis feathers to provide a controlled descent to the ground. Cut too many feathers and the bird will fall like a stone and injure themselves. There is both art and science to trimming both wings and nails properly.”

2 keys to happy birds

“The two things that make the biggest difference between a sickly bird, and one that is happy and healthy is the environment and nutrition,” Burke explains “If their environment and nutrition are right, a bird will hardly ever get sick.”

Owning the ‚Äòright‚Äô kind of bird is so important, Burke tells us. “There are bird breeds for almost everyone.”

For example, Dr. Burke says people who want a talking bird frequently choose African Greys. “But these are very smart birds and won‚Äôt tolerate being put on a shelf. An Amazon might be a good choice for someone who wants a ‚Äòtalker‚Äô but doesn‚Äôt want to handle the bird.”

Want companionship without much handling? “Little ‚Äòtweety birds‚Äô like budgies or finches provide a lot of company and entertainment for older folks,” Dr. Burke explains. And, they can live from seven to nine years.”

People often ask her why feathered friends act as they do. “As much as we try to tame them, they are wild, not domesticated, animals. They have a lot of wild behaviors. I help birds‚Äô owners understand their needs.”

At the Bird Festival, Dr. Burke will also provide on-site avian clinic services like wing and nail trims, DNA sexing, and health certificates for a modest fee. A nail trim is just $10, for example.

Come learn about a wide variety of birds from their breeders at the Bird Festival on Saturday, April 8, 2006. Hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Come see it all at the Bird Festival!

At this show, put on by breeders across the Pacific Northwest, visitors said they were amazed to see the large variety of breeds being shown — more than they typically find at a “big” bird show!

From brightly-colored, lively finches — to large, talking macaws, the Bird Festival makes a fun, Saturday destination. Birds on display include Finches, Ringnecks, Parakeets, Cockatiels, Canaries, Love Birds, Cockatoos, Macaws, African Greys and Quakers.

Come hungry! Volunteers for David Douglas Softball League will be grilling up inexpensive hamburger and hot dog lunches as a fund-raiser!

Birds will be for sale, directly from their breeders. This free show is being put on by the breeders in the warehouse of Quality Cage Co., 5942 SE 111th Ave., Portland, OR. From I-205, exit on Foster Road. Go East (toward Gresham – Mt. Hood). Turn north at the light at SE 111th Ave. Go one long block and turn into the parking lot. Look for the “A” Frame signs!

For more information, see www.birdfest.net.

2006 David F. Ashton – East PDX News

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