Regular Writers

ABK Publications is honoured and privileged to have the support, contribution and consultancy of some of the most experienced bird keepers in the world.

 

 
Sheryll Steele-Boyce: Publisher

 

Sheryll Steele-Boyce has had a love of wildlife since her childhood growing up in a farming family. Her passion for birds was ignited in the early days of ABK Publications. Throughout her career Sheryll has been involved in teaching, business management, printing, advertising and writing.

 

At the helm of ABK Publications, Sheryll is responsible for the research and editing of material for future bird and reptile books as well as the planning, design and content of Australian BirdKeeper Magazine. A fantastic team known as the ABK gals supports her and also the authors and contributors of all literature ABK publishes—to which she is entirely grateful.

 

 

Dr Milton Lewis BSc (Hons) PhD:  Ecologist

 

Our ecologist Milton Lewis has had a passion for birds throughout his life—ranging from aviculture and ornithology to the scientific study of birds. Milton studied the breeding biology and ecology of the Golden-headed Cisticola for his PhD. His personal bird keeping passion has focused on finches—although many species of parrots also capture his fascination, particularly when in their wild habitat.

 

He is the co-author—with his parents—of ABK’s A Guide to Zebra Finches and their Mutations title. Milton’s regular Australian BirdKeeper Magazine column—The Wise Owl—presents ecological and general information that many bird keepers do not have general access to.

 

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Peter Odekerken: Photographer and Bird Breeder

 

Our photographic legend Peter Odekerken has always had a love for wildlife, particularly birds. Having kept finches and parrots since he was 11 years of age, Peter has photographed numerous bird species for ABK magazines and books—including his own title A Guide to Lories and Lorikeets their Management, Care and Breeding. He is also a regular writer for Australian BirdKeeper Magazine.

 

 
Dr Bob Doneley BVs FACVSc (Avian Medicine)  CMAVA: Bird Veterinarian

 

Our bird vet Dr Bob—as he is affectionately known—practises avian medicine from his clinic in Toowoomba, Queensland. Bob has been appointed to numerous honoured avian veterinary positions and is a Fellow of the Avian Chapter of Veterinary Science.

 

His friendly layman disposition is popular among attendees of conferences and readers of the Health and Disease chapters of many ABK books. Dr Bob has a regular column in Australian BirdKeeper Magazine.

 

Dr Terry Martin BVSc: Avian Geneticist

 

Avian geneticist Terry Martin’s fascination with bird colouration began at a young age—starting with the various mutations in his own Zebra Finches. Whilst studying Veterinary Science at university, Terry closely studied parrot genetics and mutations. He is recognised worldwide as a leading authority on colour mutations and genetics—his book published by ABK Publications is known as the ‘bible’ on avian genetics. Terry consults on these aspects of articles published in Australian BirdKeeper Magazine.

 

EB Cravens

 

EB Cravens has been an avicultural writer since 1991 when he edited AFA’s Watchbird Magazine until 1995 and produced The Natural Choice. EB’s column Creative Parrotkeeping was a mainstay of Sally Blanchard’s Pet Bird Report for many years. His monthly publication Birdkeeping Naturally is in its 10th year and features articles on all aspects of birdkeeping. This brilliant author is also in the process of finishing an eight-year book project on natural birdkeeping. EB calls the extreme south of Hawaii’s Big Island home. He lives on a small fruit and macadamia nut farm on this island where he grows and gathers most of the fresh produce he feeds to his flock.

His column Hookbill Hobbyist is a popular feature in Australian BirdKeeper Magazine.

 
Marcus Pollard BAppSc BTeach
Marcus completed his Honours Bachelor Degree on the social behaviour of the Green Rosella endemic to Tasmania. Marcus has kept and bred aviary birds for in excess of 45 years. Published in 13 different countries, he was one of three breeders who rewrote the husbandry manual for the critically endangered Swift Parrot which was single-handedly responsible for the cessation of trade in wild-caught specimens and was one of the founding members of the Save the Gouldian Fund.

 

He is currently one of just two people breeding the native Beautiful Firetail in Australia. For the past two years he has been the spokesperson for the Finch Society of Australia Inc (FSA) and is a current stakeholder and representative of the FSA for the Exotic Bird Record Keeping Scheme. Marcus currently writes for other Australian avicultural magazines and supplies articles on captive management and environmental enrichment regimens for many Australian and overseas avicultural societies and clubs.

 

 
Barry Blanch

Barry has had an interest in birds for most of his life but began serious bird keeping in 1984 with the more commonly kept backyard birds, such as Pale-headed and Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, King and Red-rumped Parrots.   He faced setbacks with his Absco aviaries blowing away in a severe cyclone - birds and all - not to mention problems keeping too many different birds in the one flight, all fighting!  That was when a decision was made to build a complex and concentrate on breeding.  Over the years, he has added more flights and built extra banks.

 

After a personal health setback, Barry was advised to enjoy life to the fullest, so he applied to study at Charles Sturt University for a Graduate Certificate in Applied Science (Ornithology) and engaged in the 'study of birds' to keep his mind active.

 

 

 
Kit Prendergast BA BSc (Hons)
 
Kit Prendergast is a zoologist and conservation biologist, with an Honour degree in these fields from the University of Western Australia. She has extensive academic expertise regarding the biology, ecology, behaviour, evolution and conservation of a wide diversity of animal life. Kit has a deep passion for birds and a keen interest in their unique features that evolution has produced. She is dedicated to sharing and communicating the many remarkable facts about birds, including the latest scientific discoveries and conservation updates.

 

She has written numerous articles on birds and other fauna, published in both academic and non-academic articles and has frequently contributed to the Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia's magazine Australian Wildlife and Wildlife Secrets. She is a member of the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, a group dedicated to preserving Australia's rarest bird species. Kit shares her life with a range of her own beloved feathered and furry friends, including a charismatic Rainbow Lorikeet named Rainbow, which she rescued as a juvenile when it was being attacked by crows.

 

 
 
Hillary Hankey
Hillary Hankey’s interest in animal behaviour began early in life, documenting the daily habits of the family cat—including hours of cat naps—on her dad’s camcorder in practice for becoming a National Geographic researcher.
Her fascination turned to birds and she began accruing an avian collection in her childhood bedroom. She has been training birds ever since.

 

Hillary has worked for zoos as an animal trainer and keeper, and in 2010 founded Learning Parrots, a consulting practice designed to help parrot owners utilise positive reinforcement for better relationships. She has also volunteered to raise toucans and consulted with wildlife education facilities, working with exotic mammals and reptiles.
 
Andrew Rankmore
Andrew Rankmore has always been fascinated by all animals, but has a devoted interest in birds, fostered by his father’s keeping of canaries and finches. After leaving home, and several years of keeping companion birds, Andrew decided to re-enter aviculture with a greater commitment to more unique species. His idea was to combine his hobby with a business-like approach so that his interest could cover its own costs. He has kept and bred most Australian cockatoos, with the exception of the Palm, Corella and Galah species, and has a range of experience with birds native to the South Americas and Africa.

Borrowing from Rick Jordan’s work on handraising skills and techniques, Andrew has developed a wealth of knowledge in handraising parrots from the egg. With an approach that ‘one never stops learning’, Andrew is keen to share avicultural knowledge and collaborate with others to advance avian husbandry to a more refined practice that sees captive populations flourish and helps to preserve the world’s endangered species. Believing that captivity is the only viable future many bird species have, due to world population and resource pressures, Andrew hopes to inspire new and intermediate keepers to further their knowledge and skills to become these species’ insurance policy against extinction.


Claude Lacasee
Originally from Canada, Dr Claude Lacasse obtained her veterinary degree from the University of Montreal in 2000.  After graduation, she completed a one-year internship at the Raptor Centre of the University of Montreal where she obtained her skills in avian medicine.  After completing a one-year internship in zoo medicine in Alabama, USA, she worked for six years as a veterinarian at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, USA.  Working as a zoo veterinarian allowed Claude to become familiar with many bird species, including African, South American, Asian, and Australian species.  

After falling in love with this country during a holiday, Claude moved to Australia in 2008 and worked as the Veterinary Manager for the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for 7 years, before then joining the veterinary team at the RSPCA QLD Wildlife Clinic for the past 3 years.  She has completely fallen in love with all Australian native species, but birds will always remain her favourite.  She has successfully passed the examinations and become a member of both the Avian Health and Australian Wildlife Chapters of the Australian/New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists. 


David Pace
I have kept and bred a wide variety of birds during my 45 years in aviculture, ranging from parrots such as Australian lorikeets, red-rumps, Neophemas and cockietails, Australian button quail species, through to many dove, softbill and pigeon species. However, my passion has always been finches. In 1997, through my association with the Victorian based ‘Pure Species’ group, I published a husbandry manual on the Pictorella Mannikin which you can find here and have written in excess of 100 articles in various avicultural journals and magazines.

Along with Joseph Forshaw and Russell Kingston, I was a member of the National Exotic Bird Scheme between 1997 and 2000, advising the then Minister for the Environment, Senator Robert Hill, on avicultural issues associated with the Exotic Bird Registration Scheme. I have been President of the National and Finch and Softbill Association (NFSA) between 2010–12. I am currently the South Australian representative on the NFSA.

I was Vice-President of the Avicultural Society of Australia, Geelong Branch from 2004 till 2015. I edited ‘The Journal’, the publication of the Branch from 2004 till 2014.
I now reside in the city of Adelaide, having lived in the City of Churches for just over 2 years. I have recently completed a new set of aviaries and keep a collection of finches, softbill and Neophemas. I am currently the Vice President of Avicultural Society of South Australia. 

I strongly believe in promoting our hobby to a younger generation and have initiated several aviary projects in schools to encourage a new generation of bird keepers.




 
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