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  Newsletter 11 August 2020  

Hello Visitor,

The International Avian Trainers Certification Board and the International Animal Trainers Certification Board, IATCB, offers you a way to gain professional credibility, increase your earnings potential, and advance your career. We live in a competitive world, and animal trainers are no different than anyone else looking for advanced knowledge and skill in their profession. IATCB endorses voluntary certification by examination for all professionals involved with animals, including trainers, educators, handlers, veterinarians, and all others involved in the care and handling of animals.

Certificant Highlight

Jennifer Westhoff, CPBT-KA/ Owner Raptor Hill Falconry took a few minutes to chat with us!

“I began working with birds of prey in 1991 and acquired my falconry license in 1998. In February of 2015, I attended my first IAATEJenniferWesthoff conference and was completely and utterly spellbound by PRT (Positive Reinforcement Training) and ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) As a falconer, I was well aware of the concept but the applications now seemed endless. It was during that first conference that I witnessed videos of animals actively and willingly participating in their own medical management and it literally brought me to tears. Immediately after attending the conference, I was so engrossed in learning everything I could about PRT and ABA, I decided to obtain my CPBT-KA as my ultimate reward; taking the exam May 2015. Like many, in the beginning of my career, I anxiously took a job and acquired licenses, so that I could be given the opportunity to become more immersed in the company of the birds that we all adore. Owning a raptor educational business, my career goals have now expanded from not just working with the birds but aspiring to better the life and well-being of the birds in our care. Currently, with my CPBT-KA certification I receive the greatest satisfaction from helping state parks, nature centers and others with training, raptor behavioral assessment and establishing the best captive care for their birds. It has changed my life and the lives of the raptors I keep and train. I have used PRT/ABA to resolve behavioral problems, trained birds to willingly participate in their own care and taught birds to perform natural behaviors on cue. I am just thrilled to include consulting, workshops and lectures as part of my business repertoire and preach PRT/ABA to just about anyone who will listen. 

To watch the “light” turn on in a bird and witness its behavior change from fear to acceptance and then finally to a willingness to participate, without force, is an absolutely unforgettable experience.” 

We would love to highlight you or your facility in our newsletter and on our Facebook page. Let us know the amazing things that you are doing to help raise the bar! Contact for more information.

Want to find out more about setting these types of standards within your facility or becoming certified? Contact the IATCB board by visiting our website!

Testing Cycles for 2019

Testing cycles are the same time for both the Certification Examination for Professional Bird Trainers and the Certification Examination for Professional Animal Trainers.

Fall 2019 Testing Dates

Application Deadline: September 20, 2019

Testing Window: Saturday, October 19—Saturday, November 2, 2019

Go to to learn more about who’s eligible to take the exams, download the handbook and start studying!!!

IATCB would like to encourage you to become certified.

What should I study?

Click here: and download the handbook, it contains the study guide!

Already certified?

The CPBT-KA credential is valid for 5 years from the date it is awarded. To renew the credential a certificant must either re-take the examination after 5 years or accumulate sixty Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) by attending IATCB approved workshops, seminars, classes, or conferences. Head over to to check out a list of approved CEUs!

Did you attend the IAATE conference? Don’t forget to submit your CEUs!

Thank you Natural Encounters, Inc. for hosting!

Our CEU policy has been updated! Do you have Multiple Credentials through IATCB? When Certificants have multiple credentials, e.g. CPBT-KA and CPAT-KA, CEUs earned will be applied to both credentials. So don’t delay, get both of your certifications!

owl face

Trainers Talk

Did you miss this post on our Facebook page? “Behavior: How owls can hunt even in total darkness” By Eldon Greij.

Imagine being in a pitch-black room, your pupils maximally dilated, but you can’t see a thing. You feel helpless. Now picture a Barn Owl on a perch and a mouse scurrying across the floor. The bird drops and glides toward the rodent — dramatic predator-prey behavior. So who wins? The mouse doesn’t stand a chance. And in total darkness!...To read more click here.

Species Spotlight

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day this month, we went green! The Emerald Starling (Lamprotornis iris) Named for its vibrant colors, has green, iridescent feathers on its chest and wings and purple markings on the belly and around the eyes. The emerald starling catches emerald starlinginsects in flight and also uses its strong beak to probe for insects and seeds in soil and heavy vegetation. Found in Parts of West Africa, including French Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast they prefer Orchard bush, wooded and open savanna. In the wild, the species lives in flocks of 15-20 members; these flocks occasionally gather to form larger groups. The emerald starling locates its nest in small holes found in tree stumps or trunks. The male and female cooperate in building the nest from leaves, and both bring food to chicks after they hatch. Females possess a brood patch—a spot on their stomach lacking feathers—that helps them transfer body heat to their eggs. These birds are listed as Least Concern on IUCN Red list.