a comprehensive resource of avian hand rearing techniques for captive bird populations

About This Site

How it started

The concept for this resource came about at the start of 2009, when I was asked to compile hand rearing protocols for bird species at Cotswold Wildlife Park.

It is always frustrating and time-consuming finding up-to-date information about hand rearing. The idea of compiling data in one place for people to access seemed like a logical solution to this problem, with the added potential to measure and improve the success of protocols both in the short and long term.

The website is funded and run by Louise Peat.

Louise Peat - Animal Registrar, Cotswold Wildlife Park

Worked in several UK collections since 1985, initially as an animal keeper, but more recently as a Registrar. EAZA studbook keeper for red-crested turaco. Main experience is with turacos, pigeons and pheasants, but has a diverse interest in all things feathered.

Resource advisors

Laura Gardner - Bird Collection Manager, ZSL

Advisor to the BIAZA Bird Working Group and International studbook co-ordinator for the Blue-crowned Laughingthrush, Laura has worked in Zoological collections since 1987. From Jersey, she worked as a volunteer at Jersey Zoo before moving to the UK. Laura has spent the last 23 years working with many bird species and is involved in research into the diet and management of Toucans.

Jo Gregson - Curator of birds, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park

EAZA vice chair positions in the Ratite and the Pigeon and Dove TAGs and further sits on several other species committees, as well as holding the EEP for Wrinkled Hornbill Aceros corrungatus.

An active participant in the Socorro Dove Reintroduction project and also heads a team of aviculturists working towards the reintroduction of the Cirl Bunting to the UK county/region of Cornwall.

David Woolcock - Paradise Park

Began working with birds in 1972 and is today Curator of Paradise Park in Cornwall and a Trustee of the World Parrot Trust. Always striving to encourage successful parent rearing of species within the collection but also happy to use hand rearing techniques where appropriate.

Resource advisors - USA

Roger Sweeney - Assistant Director, Virginia Zoological Park

Has worked with bird populations in zoos for more than 25 years in a variety of international zoo management positions. He is now the Assistant Director of the Virginia Zoo in North America and serves in a number of roles for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) including being the SSP coordinator for both the Abyssinian & Southern Ground Hornbills, studbook keeper for the Andean Condor and the communications chair for the Avian Scientific Advisory Group.

Jessika Madison-Kennedy - Coordinator, Wildlife Rehabilitation center of Minnesota

Coordinator of the Avian Nursery at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, one of the largest wildlife hospitals in the US, where each year hundreds of injured and orphaned birds are raised and released back into the wild. Jessika holds state and US federal permits for the rehabilitation of wild birds and has experience with hand-rearing both domestic and wild bird species.

Resource advisors - Canada

Myles Lamont - Avian Manager, Hancock Wildlife Research Center

Myles has been working with various species of birds for over 15 years and has spent the last ten specializing in numerous species of softbills and Galliformes with a special interest in the Musophagidae, Timaliidae and Phasianidae. He has edited numerous avicultural publications and coordinated an international symposia on conservation aviculture. His current interest lies in improving the captive management and husbandry of threatened avian taxa and increasing the general availability of information to the average aviculturist.

Other assistance

Researcher Calum O'Flaherty

Logo design by Dave Brunger

IT Advice from Carole Chapman

Special thanks to Pat Witman for her support and motivating advice through the tough times!!!


Avicultural Society

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