About Us


James McKinley, MS, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, spent his childhood in the Jersey shore town of Tinton Falls. At age five, his parents gave him "Taffy," a mixed-breed puppy. His love for Taffy and desire to care for the animal inspired him to become a veterinarian.

To fulfill his lifelong dream, Dr. McKinley received his bachelor's degree from Rider College in 1974, then attended Rutgers University, where he received a Master's degree in Animal Science in 1977. He studied further in Italy and earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Parma in 1981. Following graduation, Dr. McKinley spent a year in clinical training, volunteered at the Philadelphia Zoo and interned under one of the most renowned avian veterinarians of the time, Dr. Robert Altman, in New York.
  Dr. McKinley


As a result of these experiences, Dr. McKinley acquired extensive knowledge in avian medicine and a love for working with birds and exotic animal species. During his first year as a veterinarian, he rescued and raised an orphaned cockatiel, "Alfalfa," opening the door to his already growing interest in avian medicine.

In 1987, Dr. McKinley opened the Amwell Bird Hospital, the first and only avian hospital in New Jersey. In 1993, the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) recognized avian medicine and surgery as its own specialty, and in 1994 Dr. McKinley became the first board-certified avian specialist in the state. In November, 03, he became re-certified for an additional 10 years. His standing in the veterinary community, as well as his reputation for skill, knowledge and care, bring referrals from both clients and other veterinarians.

In addition to practicing avian medicine, Dr. McKinley is an experienced aviculturist, breeding birds since 1983. Next to the hospital, Dr. McKinley has established a 1500 ft. aviary, where he has bred a dozen breeds of parrots. Recently, he has limited his breeding to only Hyacinth Macaws (see HYACINTH MACAWS). Only birds bred and raised by Dr. McKinley and his assistant are sold from the AVIAN PET SHOP. By breeding, hatching and hand-feeding birds, Dr. McKinley has gained the ability to offer expert advice, education and care regarding pediatric and breeding concerns encountered by aviculturists.
-- Jaynie Apgar
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