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Welcome to our Featured Speaker Series

 Every year we fly in professionals from ALL OVER THE WORLD to visit YOU at Seattle Parrot Expo.  We hire our Featured Speakers to bring the latest, best information available about parrot welfare, conservation and science.  Want to know how to solve behavioral problems?  When to take a bird to the vet?  What to do in emergencies?  WE HAVE COVERED IT ALL.

There are two types of registration to see our FEATURED SPEAKERS:  

FREE BIRD REGISTRATION allows you to enter Seattle Parrot Expo an hour early and, this year, you receive a free tote bag.  Free talks are our LIVE PARROT AMBASSADORS SHOWS, PARROT-SAFE PLANTS and BIRDIE VETERINARY BAICS are accessible for ALL.

GOOD BIRD REGISTRATIONS INCLUDE:  Early access to Exhibitors Hall, access to our exclusive  Featured Speaker Room either online or LIVE.  Access to the FREE BIRD TALKS.  At LIVE, Good Bird registrants receive a SWAG BAG of goodies from us.  

SUPERBIRD REGISTRATIONS INCLUDE:  Early access to Exhibitors Hall, access to our exclusive Featured Speaker Room either online or LIVE.  Access to FREE BIRD talks, receive SWAG BAG OF GOODIES and a commemorative 2023 shirt (full color, value $34.99) online or LIVE and LUNCH ON US AT LIVE!  


2023 Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers are paid for their time, travel or stay or all.  The goal of our Featured Speaker Program is for you to be able to ask the experts of the field YOUR QUESTIONS you need answered.  Our Featured Speaker Series is not "just another lecture", it's a CEU-earning opportunity for serious help and education!  Total time:  45 min talk, 15 min QA. 

VIRTUAL GUESTS:  there are several cameras in operation to include you with our IN PERSON audience!  Please use the CHAT feature and the QA feature to have your questions heard. Featured Speakers are special access only for GOOD BIRD AND SUPERBIRD registrants!  Do not miss out! 

IF you are volunteering and still want to see the talks, we are recording them, but only those who are Good Birds or Superbirds can enjoy seeing them until the end until we introduce our next Featured Speaker Lineup the following year.



DAY 1:  Behavioral Aspects of Avian Medicine.

DAY 2:  Understanding Parrots Through Anatomy


Brian Speer received his DVM degree from the University of California at Davis in 1983. Board specialty status was awarded through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 1996, and he was certified in the European College of Avian Medicine and Surgery (ECAMS – now ECZM) in 1999. He is in private practice; director of the Medical Center for Birds in northern California. He has served the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV) as chair of the Aviculture Committee, as a director of the board, and as president. He has served the ECZM as scientific committee chair, and as a member of the examination committee. Brian is currently a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network for avian medical topics. He is a co-author of The Large Macaws (1995), Birds for Dummies (1999, second edition 2021), and editor for Current Veterinary Therapy in Avian Medicine and Surgery, (2015; co-editor of second volume anticipated 2023).




DAY 1:  "Don't Be Shy, Call A Consultant":  When to ask for Professional Help with Parrot Behavior.

DAY 2:  "You Better Behave":  Overview of Human Behavior and How it Affects Parrot Behavior.


Hildegard Niemann (born 1966) graduated as a biologist in 1993 from the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster and has been working as a behavior consultant for parrots and parakeets (Parrot Behaviour Consulting [PBC]) since 2004. She has been a certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), a member of the American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) and the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (IAATE) since 2006. She has been an author since 1996. She has written more than 140 papers on parrots and other ornamental birds that have been published in 18 different journals in five languages, and authored a total of eight books (including gray parrots, budgies, cockatiels) that have been published in numerous languages and editions worldwide. She has regularly organized workshops for parrot keepers since 2006, led practical training sessions (PPT) with parrots and parakeets at Parrot Park Bochum, and has also offered online courses and webinars (national and international) since 2016. Between 2014 and 2016, she led five client trips for parrot keepers to the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Together with her husband Dr. Rainer Niemann, she has edited the Parrot and Parakeet Journal (PSJ), the official client magazine of Parrot Behaviour Consulting (PBC), since 2017. Her teaching credits include guest speaking at the annual conventions of the American Federation of Aviculture (AFA), the Parrot Festival and Parrot Expo in the U.S., EXOTIS in Switzerland, the Avicultural Society of Australia, as well as at continuing education events such as the Parrot Days in Stuttgart or the Pet Day of the German Veterinary Society (DVG) in Giessen, and her lecturing activities at the Academy for Innovative Education and Management (aim) in Heilbronn, at the Institute "Tiere im Einsatz" in Schongau, as well as at the continuing education events of the Central Association of Zoological Enterprises (ZZF). In addition, she gave technical lectures at the conference of the Fund for Endangered Parrots (FbP) and was a member of the Wellensittich-und-Papageien-Magazin for 13 years. She has kept parrots for over 30 years, including budgies, cockatiels, amazons, catherine parakeets, black-headed parrots and grey parrots.




 DAY 1:  The Macaw Society and How YOU Can Help!  (3pm LIVE FROM COSTA RICA AND TEXAS)


The Macaw Society (previously known as the Tambopata Macaw Project) is a long-term research study of the ecology and conservation of macaws and parrots that started in 1999. Lead by Dr. Donald J. Brightsmith and Dr. Gabriela Vigo-Trauco of the Schubot Center for Avian Health at the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS), it has switched its focus since 2020.

Dr. Brightsmith’s team was not the first one to work with macaws in the area. However, they were the first to collect scientific information that produced clear documentation of the natural history and ecology of the parrots and macaws in Tambopata—and make it available to the public. His team now ranks as one of the best in the world when it comes to macaw research and conservation.

After documenting and publishing important baseline data, the mission of The Macaw Society is to efficiently use the information to direct conservation of the studied species in Peru—and in other locations where psittacines are declining and are at risk of extinction. Moving forward, it will operate with a more global perspective throughout the neotropics and work to establish new research alliances.

While The Macaw Society’s research base remains in the Tambopata region, it’s in a new location and no longer associated with eco-tourism companies. Collaborations will continue with the focus shifting to more advising of direct conservation and local action plans.



Laurella Desborough


DAY 1:  "Aviculture:  Where do we go from here?"  A discussion on the future of keeping parrots in light of legislation and regulation proposals.


Laurella Desborough obtained a Master's Degree in General Biology and Zoology from Southern Illinois University and UCLA in 1965!  She has been a professional aviculturist or breeder  of exotic birds for over 20 years, including amazons, greys, cockatoos, brownheaded parrots, hawkheads and mini-macaws.

She now specializes in   Eclectus parrots and Vasa Parrots.

She is the current Legislative Coordinator for the National Animal Interest Alliance Trust,, and Past President of the American Federation of Aviculture - AFA,

She is the co-founder MAP program or the Model Aviculture Program that was recently utilized during the dialoug for USDA regulation.  She continues to serve on the board of the program which serves to certifiy avicultural practices utilizing voluntary inspection for best practice procedures.  This program has now been adapted in several other countries.

Her current memberships are:

• American Bird Conservancy
• American Federation of Aviculture
• American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society
• Avicultural Society of America
• Florida Federation of Aviculture
• National Animal Interest Alliance
• National Audubon Society
• National Avian Welfare Alliance
• Organization of Professional Aviculturists


She has produced many articles and even co-authored the book "A Complete Guide to Eclectus Parrots" published in 1987 (out of Print).  Your experience with Laurella, given her vast knowledge and experience, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will never forget!

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FREE speakers are broadcast LIVE or pre-recorded for half an hour on our FB pages, website and sometimes hosted in our Featured Speaker Room.   These are more of a lecture style with answers from administrators on our facebook pages under the comments section of each video shared.  This videos will be saved in our EDUCATIONAL VIDOES feature of the website as well.  NO REGISTRATION NECESSARY TO SEE THESE TALKS.

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TOPIC:  4pm Parrots "Go Green" LIVE!  Day 1 and 2!  

Debbie Goodrich is a certified Parrot Behavior Consultant and professional bird trainer who performs with her parrots throughout Western Washington.  She and her birds have been featured on the Bob Rivers Show, New Day Northwest, and now a regular at the SW Washington Fair!  Her message of conservation and hope for the future through parrots has given her inspiration to help create Flight Club Foundation, a 501 c3 humane organization that assists parrots and people alike.  She will be performing on both days LIVE.  Don't forget all of our LIVE guests will be broadcast for our VIRTUAL guests as well!   Her performances will be free for children to attend.  So, FREE BIRD registrants, this is your chance to step into the Featured Speaker Room at the Expo!  4PM DAILY!



Day 1:  Target Training and Practical Applications

Day 2:  How to get your bird to accept medicine and restraint.


Melody first caught the bird bug at the age of 9 when she fell in love with her first pet, a pied cockatiel named Al. Al was the ultimate partner in crime and sparked a love and deep admiration for all birds and their well-being.

Melody has been employed by the Medical Center for Birds since April 2008. She is a Registered Veterinary Technician and Certified Trainer Partner through the Karen Pryor Academy in 2014. Melody has completed Susan Friedman's Learning and Living with Animals course and Steve Martin's training workshop at NEI, Natural Encounters, Inc.

She has enjoyed many training adventures with furry companion pets, including a puppy training program with inmates at Valley State Prison. 

Busy Beaks Academy was created in 2015 and has been offering group classes, private training sessions, online training sessions, veterinary consults, and webinars ever since! Working with the Medical Center for Birds, Melody is able to offer training consults to help improve medical management and assist with concerns like learned fear, medication training, desensitization and counter conditioning.

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TOPIC: Bird Safe Plants

Day 1:  LIVE.

Day 2:  Recording Airs on FB for those following our FB feeds during the event..

Dr. Rainer Niemann (born 1966) graduated in 1992 from the University of Münster (Germany) with a degree in biology and received his doctorate in 1996. From 1996 to 2017 he worked as editor in a small publishing house in Germany with the focus on parrots and parakeets. Together with his wife Hildegard Niemann, he has been publishing the Parrots and Parakeets Journal (PSJ), the official customer magazine of Parrot Behaviour Consulting (PBC), since 2017, and as senior editor since 2018.

Since 1996 he has been working as an author. He has written three books on parrots and zebra finches, which have been translated into many other languages, and is the translator of the two-volume standard work "Australian Parrots" by Joseph M. Forshaw (2002, 2003) and the book "Down Under" (2009) by Roland Seitre on Australia's free-living parrots. Since 2006 he has been organizing workshops for parrot owners and between 2014 and 2022, he and his wife led five customer trips for parrot owners to the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, Costa Rica and Ecuador. His teaching activities include guest lectures at the annual conventions of the American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) in the USA, at the Avicultural Society of Australia, at the EXOTIS, Switzerland and other education events in Europe. He is keeping parrots for over 30 years, including budgies, cockatiels, amazons, lineolated parakeets, senegal parrots and grey parrots.


Love who is talking?  Have questions you want to ask them?  Click on one of our registrations today until the talks begin and you can! Don't forget, the longer you wait, the more you miss!

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