Rebecca K. O’Connor has been training animals professionally for over 20 years and is renowned for her expertise in the field of avian behavior. She has experience working with a tremendous variety of animals and believes strongly in the use of Applied Behavior Analysis, positive reinforcement and focusing as much on the people who work the animals as the animals themselves. She has written a training and behavior column for Bird Times and was a frequent contributor to Good Bird magazine, Bird Talk magazine and now BirdChannel.com. Her definitive guide to managing well-adjusted parrots, A Parrot for Life, was published with TFH Publications in 2007 and her most recent book The Perfectly Trained Parrot from TFH Publications will be available in 2014. She continues to follow the recent trends in animal training, especially regarding birds and regularly attends the workshops and seminars of her peers and remains in touch with them. In her personal life she is an avid falconer, parrot lover and dog trainer.
Rebecca has personally trained a variety of animals in both her personal and professional life including but not limited to:
- Mammals: domestic dogs, cheetah, serval, caracal, sand cat, fennec fox, porcupines, rats, goats, big horn sheep
- Parrots: Green-winged macaws, blue and gold macaws, military macaws, African greys, severe macaws, Mollucan cockatoos, sulfur crested cockatoos, black palm cockatoos, yellow-naped amazons, double yellow-headed amazons, lorikeets, Senegal parrots,
- Raptors: turkey vultures, Andean condors, king vultures, Griffon’s vultures, cinereous vultures, peregrines, Barbary falcons, kestrels, lanner falcons, merlins, red-tailed hawks, auger buzzards, golden eagles, wedge-tailed, tawny eagles, harpy eagle, bald-headed eagles, Harris’ hawks, great-horned owls, barn owls, Eurasian eagle owls
- Miscellaneous Birds: African crowned cranes, Abyssinian ground hornbills, white pelicans, Burmese red jungle fowl, white-faced whistling ducks, runner ducks, kookaburras, pied crows, ravens, white-necked ravens
Animal Show and Consulting Experience
- Zoológico Guadalajara, Mexico, Consultant for new free flight show creation.
- Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, “Wildlife Wonders Show” Training supervisor.
- Toledo Zoo, “Close Encounters of the Bird Kind” Road show supervisor.
- Healesville Sanctuary Australia, Free Flight Bird Show Presenter, rehabber and trainer.
- Texas State Fair, “Kings of the Wind Show” Team staff and supervisor for three years.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom, “Flights of Wonder Show” A member of the opening team, Training Coordinator and ultimately Supervisor.
Webcast and Radio
- The Bird Calls, Live training Webcast
- Calling All Pets with host Patricia McConnell
- Petline on CFAX Radio
- Wings N Things, Pet Life Radio
- All Paws Pet Talk, WSRadio
- National Association of Pet Sitters, parrot training phone seminar
Select List of Lecture and Workshop Appearances
- Association of Avian Veterinarians Conference
- American Federation of Aviculture Conference
- Canadian Parrot Symposium, Victoria, Canada
- The Gabriel Foundation, Denver, Colorado
- ISAZ/HAI Conference, Kansas City, MO
- Parrot Adoption & Education Program, Cleveland, Ohio
- Mid-American Exotic Bird Society, Ohio
- Minnesota Companion Bird Association, Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota
- Phoenix Landing, Northern Virginia
- South Bay Bird Society, Torrence, CA
- Wasatch Avian Education Society, Salt Lake City, UT
- West Los Angeles Bird Club, LA, California
- West Valley Bird Society, Northridge, California
Private Consultant: Rebecca regularly consults with parrot owners and dog owners addressing behavior problems and helping to teach them simple training skills and help them apply these skills to animals in their home.