2021 IAATE Conference

  1. 2021 Conference
  2. Keynote Speaker
  3. Papers
  4. Activities
  5. Schedule
  6. Registration
  7. Sponsors

IAATE Virtual 2021: Connecting Continents
MARCH 3-6, 2021

Hosted virtually by Zoom

Information and downloads for attendees.

Full Conference Schedule
: Download the full and detailed day-by-day, hour-by-hour schedule of our 2021 conference. 

Speakers: Download the full line-up of presentation and workshop abstracts and speaker bios.

Times listed are EST. Please use this time and date converter to help you determine the time of presentations and events in your part of the world.


Order your official 2021 IAATE Conference T-shirt.


Watch our 2021 Behavior Showcase











Dates to Remember

December 31, 2020 Conference Scholarship Application Submission Deadline (Application Form)

January 10, 2021 Conservation Grant Application Submission Deadline (Application Form)

January 10, 2021 Education Grant Application Submission Deadline (Application Form)

January 31, 2021 Behavior Training Showcase Video Submission Deadline (Submission Details)

February 1, 2021 Early Bird Registration Deadline

February 8, 2021 Photo Contest Submission Deadline (Submission Details)



Attention CPBT-KA! Earn CEUs

Our annual conference paper sessions and workshops will be eligible for CEUs from IATCB (International Avian Trainer's Certification Board) necessary for maintaining your certification. Please check back for a list of available CEUs.

Thursday, March 4: 6 CEUs 

Friday, March 5: 4.25 CEUs 

Saturday, March 6: 7.25 CEUs 

Behavior-based Enrichment Workshop: 2 CEUs

From Head To Toe: Coping and Foot-care for Raptors and Other Birds Workshop: 2 CEUs

Holistic Strategies for Cultural Change - Building Sustainable Foundations Workshop: 2 CEUs

Equipment Making Workshop: 2 CEUs

You will need to provide signed proof of attendance to IAABC to get these credits. During the conference we will announce "code words" that you can use to prove attendance, you will then contact IAATE Vice President - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - for proof of attendance certificates.


Attention Certified Behavior Consultants! Earn CEUs

Our annual conference paper sessions and workshops will be eligible for CEUs from IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants) necessary for maintaining your certification. 

There are a total of 17 CEUs available for attendance of the full conference. 

Thursday, March 4: 6 CEUs (6 lecture hours)

Friday, March 5: 6.5 CEUs (4.5 lecture hours; 2 workshop hours)

Saturday, March 6: 6.5 CEUs (6.5 lecture hours)

You will need to provide signed proof of attendance to IAABC to get these credits. During the conference we will announce "code words" that you can use to prove attendance, you will then contact IAATE Vice President - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - for proof of attendance certificates.


Walter Crawford Memorial Scholarship

Have you dreamed of attending our annual conference, but lack the funds to do so? If so, this scholarship might be the answer to your dreams! IAATE will once again award monies to eligible IAATE members to assist in funding attendance of our annual conference. This scholarship fund is limited, it is funded by the proceeds from our conference workshops of the previous year, and will be awarded only to applicants who meet eligibility requirements. The recipient of this scholarship will be determined by the IAATE Professional Development Committee.

Deadline for application submission for our 2021 conference is December 31, 2020.

Download the scholarship application form HERE!

Please send completed applications to Professional Development Committee Chair, email contact included on application form.

Note: While you must be an IAATE member to apply, there is no minimum membership time requirement, however, preference will be given to applicants who have been a member for more than one year.

Keynote Speaker

Speakers: Download the full line-up of presentation and workshop abstracts and speaker bios.


 Emotions Inside Out
Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D
Professor emeritus, Department of Psychology, Utah State University


The Evolution of Animal Training as a Technology
Dr. Robert E. (Bob) Bailey


Touch the Heart to Teach the Mind
Wouter Stellard, Animal Programs Training Director, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium


10 Things Training Birds Can Teach You About Working With People!
Ryan Cartlidge, Animal Training Academy


The Value of Experience.
Greg A. Vicino, Curator of Applied Animal Welfare, San Diego Zoo



Conserving an African Icon: the Southern Ground-Hornbill
Lucy Kemp, Project manager Mabula Ground Hornbill Project/ Co-Chair IUCN SSC Hornbill Specialist Group



Behavior and Medical Issues: Separate Issues or One and the Same?
Dr. Yvonne R.A. van Zeeland, DVM, MVR, PhD, Dip. ECZM (Avian, Small mammal), CPBC


Assessing Body Condition Score Using CT Imaging with Case Examples.
Scott Echols, DVM, Diplomate ABVP- Avian Practice
Mobile Avian Surgical Services
The Medical Center for Birds


Flight for Health: Understanding the Medical Effects of Flight
Susan Orosz, PhD, DVM, Dipl ABVP (Avian), ECZM (Avian)





Addressing the African Vulture Crisis – Challenges, Opportunities and Progress within the CMS Vulture MsAP Framework
André Botha, Co-chair – IUCN SSC Vulture Specialist Group; Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa


Twenty Years of Species Recovery – What to do with what we’ve learned…
Chris Parrish, The Peregrine Fund Director of Global Conservation (California Condors - lead) 


Saving Threatened Vultures in South Asia
Munir Virani – Executive Vice President – The Peregrine Fund


Conserving the Iconic Andean Condor
Dr. Sergio Lambertucci, Principal Researcher, INIBIOMA-CONICET, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Quintral 1250 - R 8400 FRF - Bariloche – Argentina


The Ambassador Owl Conundrum
Steve Martin, President/CEO, Natural Encounters, Inc.


Selection Process for Non-Releasable Raptors: The First Step in Bird Welfare
Kit Lacy, Bird Curator, Cascades Raptor Center, Eugene, OR USA


Conservation Connection: Training to Save Wildlife
Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice President/Chief Training Officer, Karen Pryor Clicker Training


Doing our Groundwork: Taking Flightless Birds to New Behavioral Heights
Nicholas Bishop, Animal Behaviour and Creative Programs Manager
Chad Crittle, Senior Keeper, Birds and Herpetofauna
Adelaide Zoo, South Australia



All conference activities are virtual and are covered in the full-registration fee. 


Workshops, Friday March 5

This conference will offer four different workshops. Interested participants can choose to attend only one workshop per session.


Behavior-based Enrichment: Wild birds display a variety of natural behaviors that are intrinsically important to each species. Enrichment is one of the many tools we have as animal care providers to encourage these behaviors in the animals we care for. This workshop will cover basic concepts of Animal Welfare and Enrichment, and how they are related to each other. Participants will spend time watching animal behavior and breaking down larger behaviors like “foraging” into its smaller behavioral components – which are very different for different species. Together, we will complete Behavioral Workflow charts for a few specific avian species that will help us understand why each behavior is relevant to the species, and how we can stimulate those behaviors with the birds in our care through enrichment. Workshop participants will also be given examples of what a goal-based enrichment program can look like in practice, including record keeping and evaluation through monthly activity budgets. The goal of this workshop is that all participants will walk away with a greater understanding of how enrichment relates to animal welfare, and how targeting specific behavioral goals with enrichment can help increase behavioral diversity for animals, thus increasing positive welfare indicators.

This two-hour workshop will be facilitated by Megan Stankiewicz, Animal Wellness Specialist at the Brevard Zoo, with the IAATE Enrichment Committee.

Holistic Strategies for Cultural Change: Building Sustainable FoundationsThe fields of animal care, training, and education are rapidly evolving, and keeping up with best practices can be hindered by stagnant workplace cultures. This workshop will focus on navigating the sometimes daunting task of leading or supporting your team through cultural change. We will examine leadership and management theory and provide practical examples from the field, emphasizing realistic planning and examples to emulate or avoid. While the focus is on avian facilities, the concepts apply broadly across multiple disciplines. Participants will learn to assess their needs, set goals, and develop strategies for communication and fatigue management, ultimately steering their teams toward positive change. 

This two-hour workshop will be facilitated by Jason Beale of Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and Sidney Campbell of the American Bald Eagle Foundation.


From Head to Toe – Coping and Foot-care for Raptors and Other Birds

Coping and foot-care for raptors and other birds can be a daunting task, especially considering the variability of species, the individual, and the environment. This workshop will provide an overview of effectively managing foot and beak health in a variety of species (with a particular focus on birds of prey), including preventative care, environmental modifications, live demonstrations of voluntary nail trims and raptor beak coping, and other information designed to be useful for caretakers of a variety of avian taxa.

 This two-hour workshop will be facilitated by Amy Fennell CPBT-KA of Natural Encounters, Inc.


Equipment Making - SOLD OUT

This workshop will address the appropriate use of jesses with raptors to provide for the health and welfare of birds, facilitate training and educational goals, and demonstrate optimum care for birds in given situations. Discussion will include tethering raptor species such as hawks, eagles, owls, falcons, etc. and the reasons against tethering vultures, caracaras, and all non-raptor species. Discussion will also include the use of positive reinforcement to teach raptors to sit on the glove and replace the behavior of bating off the glove and the consequent use of punishment to decrease the bating behavior. Also discussed will be minimizing the use of jesses to give raptors more control and power over their environment, which often leads to enhanced relationships with trainers and more reliable trained behavior. Demonstrations of anklet making and paracord jess construction will be included during this workshop. A list of materials will be provided for the workshop participates.

This two-hour workshop will be facilitated by Kit Lacy of Cascades Raptor Center and Miguel Santos of Zoomarine Portugal.


Roundtables, Friday March 5 and Saturday March 6

Join us for roundtable discussions as we share ideas, experience, and knowledge among our diversely experienced members. Roundtables are a discussion and information share experience as opposed to a presentation, but will have facilitators to keep the conversation flowing. This year's roundtable topics are:

Transitioning Away from Raptor Equipment


Professional Development – How to get Involved in our Field

Conservation Psychology – How to Get the Message Out

COVID-19 – Changes to Thrive in this Challenging Time

Foundations for Beginners/Basics of Bird Body Language


New Member Icebreaker, Wednesday March 3

Are you a new member of IAATE? Is this your first conference? Then this pre-icebreaker icebreaker is for you! Join IAATE's Board of Directors for a presentation on the history of IAATE; an overview of who we are, what we represent, and how to make the most of your membership to our wonderful organization; and some informal Q&A chat with the Board.


Icebreaker, Wednesday March 3

Enjoy an evening of catching up with old friends and a chance to meet new ones. Our Icebreaker is always a great opportunity to make new contacts and meet fellow IAATE members and like-minded people. This year we will be mixing and mingling virtually but that's not going to stop the fun games and interactive activities! BYOB and join us online for this informal fun time. Ari Bailey and Chris Jenkins of Natural Encounters, Inc. will also be live recording one of their Tec-Talk Podcasts from our Icebreaker!


Open Board Meeting, Friday March 5

Our Open Board Meeting will be held on Friday March 5 after our workshop sessions. Join your organization's Board to hear committee reports, financial updates, and general information about the business year in review as well as upcoming endeavors. This is your opportunity to stay updated on the business of your organization and ask any questions you many want answered. Even though we are virtual, we hope to see a full attending member turn out!


Closing Ceremony, Saturday March 6

While we can’t enjoy our traditional closing banquet, we are certainly going to wrap it all up in style on Saturday evening with our awards and, always highly anticipated, Photo Contest slide show. BYOB and dress up if you want to as we celebrate another successful conference and successful year of training and educating about birds.


Virtual Happy Hours

Being virtual won't stop the fun and networking opportunities. Each evening of our conference we will be hosting a virtual happy hour to replace our traditional hospitality suite. BYOB and join us for great opportunities to share information and unwind after a long day of intense learning experiences. Our informal gatherings have always been one of the best ways to share ideas and become inspired by your peers.   


Conference Awards and Contests

Don't forget to apply for a Conservation or Education Grant. Please see below for deadlines. For the 2021 conference, awards and grant submissions will not be accepted at the conference. This is to allow the committees more time to consider each entry. Please adhere to the individual deadlines! Please see our Awards & Grants section to download application forms and for updated details on how to apply. You can't win if you don't enter!

Education Grant Submission Deadline: January 10, 2021

Conservation Grant Submission Deadline: January 10, 2021

Behavior Training Showcase Submission Deadline: January 31, 2021

Photo Contest Submission Deadline: February 8, 2021

Full Conference Schedule: Download the full and detailed day-by-day, hour-by-hour schedule of our 2021 conference.


Times listed are EST. Please use this time and date converter to help you determine the time of presentations and events in your part of the world.



Registration for the 2021 conference includes everything we have to offer this year - our paper sessions, roundtable discussions, icebreaker, workshops, virtual happy hours, meetings, and closing ceremony.


EARLY BIRD Registration (before Feb 1, 2021)

Member $100
Non-Member $200

Registration After Feb 1, 2021

Member $150
Non-Member $250


Interested in being a sponsor for our virtual conference?

For information and a list of benefits associated with sponsoring our conference, please contact IAATE Board member and Marketing Committee Chair, Jon Spero at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Event Information - Click BEGIN REGISTRATION and then PROCEED to reveal any discounts

Event Date 03-03-2021
Event End Date 03-06-2021
Cut off date 03-06-2021
Non-Member Price USD250.00

We are no longer accepting registration for this event

Please feel free to contact us using the contact form. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.



The International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators

is an organization for individuals who are active in the field of avian training and who are involved in environmental education programs.

IAATE was founded to foster communication, professionalism and cooperation among those individuals who serve Avian Science through training, public display, research, husbandry, conservation, and education.



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