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Clicking Birds: A Veterinarian's Perspective

Leigh Clayton is a resident in avian/exotic animal medicine at Boston's Angell Animal Medical Center, formerly Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, specializing in avian care. Recently we asked her a few questions about why she recommends clicker training for every patient she sees.

The Unexpected Benefits of Training

On My Mind: Adventures in Panama

What’s your escape?

On My Mind: Too Many Birds

Bird friends

A Raven’s Tale: Cues that Reduce Stress

A note from Karen Pryor:

Sherri Lippman was an early adopter of clicker training. She is co-author and co-star, with Virginia Broitman, of the award-winning clicker training video, The How of Bow Wow! Sherri has been a presenter at ClickerExpo and at APDT.

While working in California at a wildlife rehabilitation center with a public display of educational animals, one of the challenges Sherri took on was the training of a long-term resident, a crippled raven that was fearful and unapproachable. The following account is, in my opinion, a dazzling example of ingenious behavioral management. Sherri taught the bird to recognize cues for necessary upcoming events, negative (netting the raven for veterinary care), harmless (cleaning and feeding), and positive (training). More to the point, she taught the staff and the many volunteers to present the cues reliably. Read on to see what happened.