Talking Parrots

Talking Parrots

The Parrot Society of New Zealand Conference took place in Auckland in April. Topflite sponsored this year’s event and a couple of our team were there to present our work and talk with owners, breeders and visiting experts about the diverse nutritional needs of parrots.


After a pōwhiri greeting from the Kapa Haka group on the Friday everyone settled in for what proved to be a highly entertaining and enlightening conference.

Over the next three days a wide range of presentations were given by leading experts. It was all valuable ‘food for thought’ – both metaphorically and literally.

Topflite’s own Greg Webster was joined by Dr Lucy Waldron to present on what we’ve been doing for New Zealand parrot owners.

There is a huge diversity in parrot species and therefore an equally large range of dietary requirements. Dr Waldron explained to conference attendees how parrots are placed into five main dietary categories.

Granivores eat grains and seeds. Frugivores like mostly fruit and flowers, with some seeds and nuts. Omnivores will eat seeds and fruits – and insects and invertebrates. Florivores eat seeds, fruits, berries, bark, nuts and roots. And Nectarivores have a diet of pollen, nectar and some insects and seeds.

Our new parrot treats need to be fed with varying degrees of regularity according to the type of category they fit into – there’s certainly no ‘one size fits all’ food here. Our work with Dr Waldron here is certainly helping to guide how we develop our parrot food range.

Dr Stacey Gelis also gave a presentation on “Feeding Lories and Lorikeets” and stressed the importance of species-specific diets and diversity within the diet.

Another convention speaker was Dr Jason Crean. Based out of Illinois, Dr Crean has considerable nutrition and animal care experience and regularly consults with zoos, vets, pet shops and breeders throughout the United States.

Dr Crean’s first presentation was on the Avian Raw Whole Foods Diet, where he spoke to the room about feeding what would naturally be eaten in the wild – seeds, fruits, vegetables, flowers and nuts.

Photo by Hans Eiskonen on Unsplash

“He stressed the importance of ‘getting back to nature’ and feeding foods that are natural and not processed like pellets,” said Topflite’s Ruby Scott-Smith, was also in attendance.

“Above all he stressed that diversity and variety is key in all aspects of nutrition for all species.”

Ruby was happy to hear that “people knew the difference quality seed can make”, stating the event “was invaluable for speaking to people from around the country and hearing their needs.”

“There was a lot said by all the speakers around diversity and the importance of seed (in parrot diet), so this is great news for our daily work here,” says Ruby.

“I’m now excited for the next step in our product development – how we take the insight and analysis from these presentations to improve and advance our work.”

Greg reports the conference was “a great success for all” adding that he’s looking forward to the next one – and to further developing what Topflite can provide to loving parrot owners in the future.

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