Learning Parrots was founded by parrot behavior consultant Hillary Hankey as a way to help empower the lives of parrot companions through the understanding of positive reinforcement and a relationship based on two-way communication. The most fundamental focal point around which we can navigate our behavior modification strategies is that each individual has a unique relationship with its environment and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Hillary got her start as a bird nerd from an early age, paying for her first Quaker Parakeet in pennies, nickels, and dimes. Having worked with birds in veterinary clinics, sanctuaries, and breeding centers, it was a meeting with Barbara Heidenreich at a conference in 2003 that sent her interest in parrot behavior to the next level. She has contributed articles to Good Bird Magazine, co-hosted a series of annual gatherings of free-flighted companion parrot trainers, and worked for the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park and Steve Martin of Natural Encounters, Inc. She also owns and operates Avian Behavior International LLC, an organization dedicated to promoting wildlife education and progressive training techniques with a wide array of free-flying bird species. On ABI’s twenty acre ranch, guests can come for free-flying Adventures with owls, hawks, macaws, hornbills, and many other birds, as well as learn hands-on training techniques through parrot behavior workshops and retreats.
Hillary’s love of parrots and positive reinforcement has taken her across the United States and abroad to attend conferences and workshops, see the variety of environments people keep birds, observe parrots in the wild, and learn more about their natural habits from the locals. The reward for a commitment to education is not only in improving the lives her own flock of free-flying birds, but also showing others how to reduce problem behaviors and arrange their parrots’ environments for success!
From Barbara Heidenreich, owner of GoodBird, Inc., www.goodbirdinc.com:
Hillary is a gifted bird trainer as evidenced by the amazing training she has accomplished with the parrots in her life. Despite her achievements her passion for understanding how training works and how parrots learn is never ending. This makes her an even greater teacher to those who seek her help. Compassionate, studied and a genuine parrot and learning enthusiast, Hillary provides trusted behavior and training advice based on quality information and experience. She is an important part of the movement that is helping to change the lives of parrots for the better.