You could probably credit Hillary’s four companion cockatoos for helping her ditch the plan to go to veterinary school after graduating from Colorado State University and following the less conventional path to exotic animal training. Training her birds has inspired her to achieve personal goals of the endless pursuit of self-mastery and authenticity, and as owner of Avian Behavior International, there is one thing this endeavor has taught her for certain. That is that ABI would not be where it is today were it not for the unwavering support of family, friends, staff, and loved ones.
Upon graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Biology, instead of going ahead with the plan toward veterinary school, Hillary’s passion for her childhood parrots led her toward a less conventional path to exotic animal training. Her trained cockatoos became neighborhood icons and the highlight of community events. Seeking out some of the best minds in the field from which to learn has led her to incredible opportunities, including working for Steve Martin of Natural Encounters and for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. As a behavior consultant for the animal education facility Wild Wonders in Bonsall, California, she expanded her work to include foxes, wild cats, and other exotic mammals.
Hillary is also committed to conservation, traveling with the Indonesian Parrot Project, to see the wild Moluccan Cockatoo and other rare birds in Seram, Australia to see wild black cockatoos, and the Brazilian Pantanal to observe the nesting Hyacinth Macaws. In 2010, she founded Learning Parrots, a consulting practice designed to provide resources for companion bird owners to understand and implement positive reinforcement. Hillary’s avian adventures across the planet, commitment to ethical standards of behavior management, and passion for helping others achieve results with positive reinforcement have earned her the reputation as a dynamic workshop coach and engaging speaker for a wide variety of audiences across the country.