Dr. Greg Burkett has extensive experience in all aspects of aviculture. Even before high school, Dr. Burkett’s intent was to attend veterinary college and practice avian medicine and surgery. He graduated from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993 and opened his avian private practice immediately upon graduating.
In November 2002, Dr. Burkett became one of the first 100 veterinarians in the country to be Board Certified in avian medicine. In 2004, he was appointed an adjunct professorship for the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine and teaches veterinary students rotating through his practice. Currently he serves as the Chair for the Avian Welfare Committee, which is a seat on the Board of Directors for the Association of Avian Veterinarians. Dr. Burkett is also a member of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Federation of Aviculture and many other local and regional veterinary associations.
Dr. Burkett was featured on National Geographic showing a surgical implant of a swan prosthetic beak. He is proud to be one of the pioneers in the field of prosthetics for birds. He has returned to many birds the ability to walk, swim, fly, eat, and preen their feathers, all activities that are vital for life.
This program has helped ducks, geese, crows, parrots, chickens, swans, and others. Most of these patients are birds from sanctuaries, rescues, or found helpless in the wild. The procedure of beak reconstruction currently requires the use acrylics and other materials that are then grinded or carved into the shape that is natural for the bird, a process which generally takes at least 4 hours.
His team was featured in a PBS documentary about animal prosthetics, called My Bionic Pet, when they gave a swan a better quality of life with a new bill. The show can be seen on YouTube. Dr. Burkett’s segment begins at 37:13.
If you would like to learn more about Dr. Burkett’s prosthetic work on wildlife or make a donation for this project visit: