Avian Professionals

Mark Ditsworth DVM

Mark Ditsworth, DVM, owner Kings Row Pet Hospital, Reno , NV

Dr Ditsworth has a special interest in avian medicine and has been Leslie Moran’s avian veterinarian since birds first joined her family in 1997. Dr Ditsworth graduated veterinary school from Oregon State University in 1983 with his goals as a veterinarian to provide the highest quality medicine available and to always research new ways for providing the best possible care. Dr Ditsworth wrote the Foreword to Leslie’s book, Polly Want a Sprout? Sprouting for The Newq Paradigm in Balanced Exotic Avian Nutrition. Dr Ditsworth provides veterinary care for the birds in the ‘Healthy Bird Project’ that are in the Reno, NV area.


H. L. Shivaprasad, DVM, PhD, DACPV (Diplomate American College of Poultry Veterinarians)

Dr Prasad is a diagnostic pathologist specializing in the pathology of infectious and non-infectious diseases of birds. Dr Prasad works in the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFSLS) performing necropsies (animal autopsies) specifically on birds. When ever one of the parrots or finches in the Healthy Bird Project dies they are sent to Dr Prasad for necropsy.


Leslie Moran

Information Gained From Avian Necropsies

Over the years Leslie has learned essential information to help improve her work in exotic avian nutrition by sending the earliest avian members of the Healthy Bird Project in for necropsy.

Examples include:

* That using water purified with reverse osmosis (RO) is deadly to birds.

* Identifying spinach as an essential food for parrots and finches.

* That pellets are not the food the marketing claims.

* The importance of complete protein in a balanced nutrition plan.

* That parrots and finches have the ability to ‘self nourish’, select the foods needed for their health.

* Identifying the adverse results of seed-based diets.

* The importance of good quality properly purified water for health and disease prevention.

* How to prevent avian fatty liver disease.

* Identifying avian gastric yeast in a flock.


Patricia Handal, DVM, licensed to practice veterinary medicine in California and Nevada, and is accredited by the USDA.

Dr. Patricia Handal developed a love of all animals but especially birds at a young age.  She grew up on her grandparent’s poultry farm where her first job was to collect eggs from inside the chicken coop.  Her grandfather also raised parakeets and doves which were freely given to people for pets.

Dr. Handal graduated from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and joined the AAV (Association of Avian Veterinarians) in 1983.  During her years of private practice Dr. Handal worked with many species of birds, both domesticated and wild.  Possessing a federal permit for rehabilitation of migratory birds from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Dr. Handal treated many raptors, water birds, songbirds, and a variety of other species.

Good nutrition is the foundation for good health.  The Healthy Bird Project aims to target this belief through its sprout formulations and education of bird owners.