The People of Hill Country Aviaries
Formerly known as the Dean Parrot Farm, owned and operated for over 20 years by Mr. Luther Dean, Hill Country Aviaries, L.L.C. is located near Austin in the beautiful hill country area of Texas.
Rick Jordan (Owner and Nursery Manager) A world renowned author and lecturer, Rick has written four full length titles on Psittacine (Parrot) Husbandry. His books are titled Parrot Incubation Procedures, Parrots:Hand-feeding and Nursery Management, African Parrots, and Macaws as Pet and Aviary Birds. In addition to his books, Rick has written hundreds of articles, published in numerous scientific and pet-trade journals across the world, and has created a video on "Incubation and Hatching." Currently he is working on a new book to encompass all of aviculture. Rick is the recipient of two U.S. First Breeding Awards from the American Federation of Aviculture, Inc. - one for the Javan Moustached parakeet, and the other for the Crimson-bellied conure.
Mark Evans Moore (Owner and Curator of Birds) Mark comes to us from Pennsylvania where he has kept and bred Psittacine birds for over 20 years. He has a keen interest in nest box design and cage set-ups for difficult species, and has written and published several articles on this subject. Mark co-authored the script for the "incubation and hatching" video now available from Birdlady Productions in Salt Lake City, Utah. Currently he is the "store manager" for the American Federation of Aviculture, Inc. Mark shares the first U.S. Breeding award for the Crimson-bellied conure, but his real interests in aviculture center around the Australian/Asian species. Mark loves to talk about Mini Bull Terriers, give him a call and chat sometime.
Darrel K. Styles, DVM (Staff Veterinarian) now works for the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC and remains an adjunct professor for the Schubot Exotic Bird Center, Texas A&M University. Somehow he still wants to be our staff Veterinarian here at the Hill Country Aviaries and we admire him for his spunk and energy!! He is well known for his educational lectures and knowledge of parrot husbandry and medicine. He has a keen interest in Soft-billed birds as well as parrots, and has written hundreds of articles on avian nutrition and husbandry.
Scott Stringer (Collection Manager) Scott was born in Iowa, and raised in the Dallas, Texas area. He was the collection manager for the Dean Parrot Farm and remains today, the most important employee of the ranch. He brings with him invaluable experience and knowledge of the birds now housed here at Hill Country Aviaries. Scott is very interested in the Pyrrhura conures and their mutations, and was instrumental in the achievement of the U.S. First Breeding Award for the Crimson-bellied Conure. Additionally, Scott enjoys manipulating the pairings and creating new color mutations in the Ring-necked parakeets housed here at the farm.
Cathi Graham An elementary teacher for 25 years in Pennsylvania, Cathi took an early retirement and moved to Texas in 2001 in order to fulfill her dream of working with birds on a full-time basis. We are lucky to have her here at Hill Country Aviaries, and we hope she stays for a long time. Although she loves all Psittacines, she has a special interest in the Tanygnathus parrots and the Asiatic parakeets. She also loves working with the all the babies in the nursery.
Joel Hutto's first job was working in a pet shop, but being under the age of 16 he could not work for wage, and only received credit toward purchases. He used his first block of credit to purchase a pair of bald lutino cockatiels that were laying eggs in an overcrowded cage. From that experience, his interest in birds flourished. He remembers the day when hand feeding formulas were made from scratch and included peanut butter and dried baby cereal. He tried unsuccessfully to tame a wild caught imported Nanday conure that he later purchased with his credit. Over time he has dabbled in finches and canaries as well as many Australian birds and is now committed to the Pyrrhura family of conures. Joel works part time at Hill Country Aviaries and brings with him about 27 years of experience with birds. He continues to maintain a small personal collection at home.
Lyrae Perry is a well known wildlife artist and aviculturist from California. Her interest in the Asiatic parakeets can be seen in the collection where you can find some of the most beautiful color mutation Rose-ringed parakeets in the World. She is a specialist in the Psittacula genus and has been raising all available species for the past 23 years. Her artwork is for sale through this site and can be viewed on the Nature & Wildlife Art Page. The Art page is always under construction just like the artworks...so check back often to see the new pieces!
UPDATE: Lyrae has moved to California to pursue her education. She keeps in close contact to us and continues to be involved with the Bird Community.
Tammy Wilkinson No working bird farm would be complete without its part-time employees (slaves). We are lucky to have Tammy on our staff. Actually, we are lucky she was fired from Back Talk Bird Center in Dallas, and got depressed enough to join us. She is a full-time Zoology major at the University of Texas at Austin. Her interests in birds are vast, and she claims she has no favorite bird. So, we make her work with all of them. She is Single and Looking!
Emily Hayes Emily started working here part-time in her senior year in High School. She is now attending college and still finds time to work at the bird farm on the weekends when she is home. She has always liked animals and was an active member of the local 4-H club in Dripping Springs. We are happy to have her and she is one heck of a worker...give her an I-Pod and some directions and you won't see her again until she is finished!! Her parents can be very proud of her, if she keeps up this type of schedule she will be a "star" someday.