Biting Matters, A Book Review by Sandy Lender

Thanks to Sandy Lender for her recent review of Jenny Drummey’s book, Biting Matters, Living Bite-free With Your Parrot, published by the Phoenix Landing Press.  Sandy is the editor of In Your Flock, a magazine geared to quality information for parrot owners. To learn more about this great magazine or to subscribe, go to  


Parrot Reviews By Sandy Lender
Title: Biting Matters: Living Bite-free With Your Parrot
Author: Jenny Drummey
Illustrator: Jenny Drummey
Publisher: Phoenix Landing Press, Asheville, N.C.
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 84

In her helpful book about companion parrot biting behavior, Phoenix Landing volunteer Jenny Drummey offers a flat-out useful tutorial, as well as sound advice, concerning this beaky matter. In the opening chapter, she starts by examining the emotional side of “the bite.” She admits something that, as a bird owner, I wish more owners shared with newbies. “The scars that bites leave behind are certainly physical, but they’re psychological and emotional too.”


Starting with a pledge to institute ideas, methods, behavior changes, commitment, environment changes, etc., to reduce or eliminate bites from a bird, the reader is encouraged to keep a journal, develop his or her own “biting plan,” and use tools such as the Bite Analyzer. You can also figure out how likely you are to get bitten during certain behaviors by plugging the behaviors into your own “Bite-o-meter.” Drummey gives short assignments that pull the reader into the text as a participant, not just someone who’s being lectured to.

Bite Bits

Even though Drummey did an excellent job of making me feel a part of the lessons and examples as I read, I never felt that she blamed me for the biting behavior I could relate to in the text. I felt instead that she was giving me strategies to deal with the biting behavior when I see it about to happen with one of my parrots or at an event with someone else’s bird.


Throughout the book, Drummey has important tips called “Bite Bits” placed in the margins to attract attention, such as “Parrots do not need a logical reason to be uncomfortable.” The assignments I mentioned are set off by boxes labeled “Try This At Home.” The use of subheadings within chapters also helps break up individual concepts and makes this book an easy one to follow. When you want to check something specific later, the table of contents lists those subheadings, making this an easy reference tool.

One chapter you don’t see many of the “Try This” boxes in is “Biting Solutions That Don’t Work.” The subheading sections of negative ideas in this chapter only get five pages of space, but they clearly express what readers should avoid when working to gain trust and reduce bites from parrots.

Bite Bits2

Drummey has prepared a no-nonsense guide to why our feathered friends bite in different situations with the heavy emphasis on correcting both our behavior and the bird’s. Her approach appears rooted in positive behavior modification with the human recognizing when the environment is ripe for biting and how to change the situation.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the book supports the parrots of the Phoenix Landing Foundation. It is available in paperback and Kindle at I recommend it for new parrot owners as well as seasoned owners facing some behavioral challenges with flock members.

As a side note to this book review, I’d like to mention Drummey has adorable clay art (and additional examples of her talent) at

A hard copy of this book is available at or for a kindle version.

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