A Word About Information Sources
This page is intended to be a caution against relying on internet information available from internet marketers claiming to be professional trainers.
First off let me mention some legitimate trainers and information sources that we do endorse: Bob Bailey, Sid Price of Avian Ambassadors, Barbara Heidenreich of Good Bird Magazine, Steve Martin of NEI and Dr. Susan Friedman of Utah State University. We do not always agree with them or they us but we feel their overall level of knowledge and experience make them good resources for all parrot owners. Please read the information here before reading further. This is another link about the same group. I highly encourage you to look over these links. It is my opinion that Birdtricks.com is a similar internet marketing group. And based on the comments I have heard from other professional trainers and from numerous bird owners, they are well known in the bird community for copying information and presenting it as their own as well as engaging in other questionable marketing practices. Many people have expressed concern to me over the advice given in the DVDs they sell as educational material. Three articles from Sid Price you should read: Bird Tricks to Avoid and Best In Flock article, The Real Secrets of Training And Where To Find Them. I highly encourage you to read these articles. If you have read these articles you will know to carefully check any bird related website to see if the links to the recommended “bird training videos” lead you to a website with birdtricks or Chet Womach. If it does, it is my opinion the site is probably one of dozens of such websites owned and/or created by Chet Womach of birdtricks or is one of their paid affiliate websites, each designed to make it look like unbiased people think their worthless videos are worth spending money on. It is my recommendation that when you find such a website, immediately close the window and do not return to it again.
We made the mistake of allowing Dave and Jamie Womach of birdtricks to join us here in Moab Utah to help them fly their young African Grey in April of 2008. We picked them up and dropped them off at the airport, let them stay in our home and all for free. While here Dave and Jamie told us this was their first venture into freeflying parrots. 18 months later they have expanded their business to include selling their “expert advice” on freefight training. For $5000 they will provide personal instruction on flying parrots, including personal training with the person’s bird here in Moab, at the very locations we took them. We recently ran into them at two of those locations. The first encounter we were polite and agreed to fly our birds with them. But after listening to their birds begging for food due to their hunger level we chose not to fly with them the next day when we encountered them again. Though we instead selected a spot to fly several hundred yards away from them, we could still hear their birds crying for food. It was painful to hear and really emphasized for us why we set up this website – because inexperienced bird owners like the birdtricks people should not be training others about freeflight.
I encourage you to also read what Sid Price said about the use of hunger in response to a blog article from Dave and Jamie Womach of birdtricks. Visit Sid’s blog and search for the entry entitled “The Misuse of Weight Management, August 20th, 2009”. The original blog post in question was entitled “Are Pet Shop Birds Trainable?” Posted by: Jamieleigh on: August 10, 2009. Read these two articles about our position on the use of hunger. Unfortunately because many professional trainers proclaim how difficult it is to train flight, the Womach videos of flying their parrots at locations in Moab make them look highly skilled. But the truth is that if you approach flight training correctly, as we outline on this website, nature’s built in flight training system does most of the work for you and it is fairly simple to do.
Dave and Chet Womach are internet marketers and entertainers presenting themselves as professional bird trainers. At the time of writing this, they had very little actual experience training or flying parrots. I guess it should be no surprise they are known to have deceptive practices when you consider Dave makes his living as a magician, an occupation designed around becoming skilled at deceiving people (normally in a fun and harmless way). So what happens when you apply that mentality to internet marketing parrot training videos? You get birdtricks.
From an academic stand point a huge reason to avoid any birdtricks material is that they use non standard terminology. By doing this they can appear to create a new term or name and then claim they invented the idea. Their term “the power pause” is commonly known as a “time out”. Many scientific terms of operant conditioning are also renamed and claimed as their new discovery. Beside the unethical nature of renaming known terms to claim them as their own invention, it also puts the student at a significant disadvantage when communicating with credible animal trainers, when learning from credible written papers, websites and textbooks.
Please be careful following information and instruction from such people who are so new to training and freeflight. Especially be careful of relying on information from ethically challenged people. The Freeflight concept is a great experience for both bird and owner. Freeflying in any style is great fun, but it is also very serious since birds can easily be lost or killed, especially when Sport Flying.
To be clear here, we do not endorse birdtricks or the Womachs and do not wish to be associated with them in any way. We recommend that you not purchase any training material or courses from birdtricks or anyone who in any way promotes or sells their materials.
Another similar site is parrotsecrets.com. It is another one of those ‘pay for training’ websites run by a nice bird trainer who has owned birds for the past 12 years; her name is Nathalie Roberts or so they would have you think. Nathalie Roberts is Sumatra Roy, a 23 year old (when first set up) “internet entrepreneur” who lives in India; he doesn’t even own birds nor has he ever. Read here for more info.
www.birdtricked.com or www.birdtricksters.com will bring people to this page. Please help new bird people avoid birdtricks by sending new bird owners a link to this page.