It’s the B.E.S.T. Parrot Conference!


When? – May 29, 30, 31 2009


Where? – Hilton Garden Inn, Edison, NJ

You should very seriously consider attending this Conference. They are all terrific Speakers and Educators. Their information and expertise will not only change the way you interact with your animals, but how you view and interact with the rest of the world.

Mark the dates on your calendar to join parrot experts and enthusiasts for a weekend filled with hours of education and sharing. With this conference we hope to combine lecture and theory with a truly hands on experience. General sessions will provide the framework that you will use as you participate in small section, up-close workshops. At this time speakers include Barbara Heidenreich of Good Bird, Inc., Robin Shewokis of The Leather Elves, Joanna Eckles and Dr. Susan Friedman.


The Speakers:


Dr. Susan Friedman

Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D., is a psychology professor at Utah State University. Over the last decade, she has helped pioneer efforts to apply to animals the scientifically sound teaching technology and ethical standard of Applied Behavior Analysis that is so effective with human learners. Susan has given a wide variety of workshops and conference presentations including the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, the American Federation of Aviculturists and Moorpark College’s Exotic Animal Training and Management program. She was a guest speaker on the topic of learning and behavior for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Colloquium and presented workshops in Africa, Canada, France, Israel and Holland. Susan teaches two on-line courses, one for veterinarians and other animal professionals (, and another for pet owners ( Her articles have been translated into 8 languages. Susan is also a core member of the Condor Recovery Project and has been nominated for the Media Award, given by the International Association of Behavior Analysis, for her efforts to disseminate to pet owners, veterinarians, animal trainers and zookeepers some of the essential tools they need to empower and enrich the lives of all learners.




 Robin Shewokis

Robin Shewokis is the owner of The Leather Elves, a company that designs and manufactures enrichment devices for animals in captivity. The Leather Elves started as a family business that created enrichment for companion parrots. After working with several facilities that housed collections of parrots Robin realized that there was a need in those facilities for enrichment targeting other species. In 2000 The Leather Elves began working with zoos internationally to enhance the level of enrichment provided. Since then Robin has consulted at zoos in the US, Canada and Holland and has distributed enrichment products worldwide. In the companion parrot community Robin has spoken at numerous parrot clubs, providing a workshop that helps companion bird owners create a stimulating environment for their pets. Robin also works to develop new enrichment products for companion parrots that will stimulate naturalistic behavior when presented. Robin has published articles on enrichment in national and international publications. She is the enrichment columnist for the Flyer, a quarterly publication of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators.

Robin also co-hosts a weekly pod cast with Barbara Heidenreich called “Wings n Things” which focuses on enrichment and training for companion parrots at



heidenreich-harpyBarbara Heidenreich

Barbara has been a professional in the field of animal training since 1990. She owns and operates a company, Good Bird, Inc., ( that provides behavior and training products to the companion parrot community. These products include Good Bird Magazine, books, videos, and parrot training workshops. Barbara has provided animal training workshops or presentations at the Association of Avian Veterinarians conference, The American Federation of Aviculture conference, The Avicultural Society of America conference, The International Parrot Conference at Loro Parque, Parrot Festival, The International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators conference, American Association of Zoo Keepers conference, Association of Zoos and Aquariums conference, The Parrot Society of Australia conference and many more. She is the past president of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators ( and has been on the Board of Directors since 1997. Her expertise has been utilized by the US Dept. of Agriculture and Fish and Wildlife Service. In the past 4 years she has trained over 600 parrots at her workshops presented around the world.



je_aboutpicJoanna Eckles

Joanna Eckles has been a bird lover all her life. She became fascinated with birds and birding at a young age and this passion remained a constant in life through high school and college. At Cornell University, Joanna studied Natural Resources and worked on a number of projects studying wild birds. After Cornell she moved to Minnesota to work as a trainer with the World of Birds Show at the Minnesota Zoo. She trained a variety of birds and presented free-flight educational programs at the zoo for 11 years. Upon leaving the zoo to start her family in 1999, she joined the World Parrot Trust as the administrator of World Parrot Trust USA. In 2006, she began working almost exclusively on PsittaScene, the magazine of the World Parrot Trust.