2013 IAATE Conference


Lowry Park Zoo Logo

Important Dates to Remember

Paper and poster abstracts are due by October 1, 2012

Early Bird Registration by January 1, 2013

All mailed and online registrations by January 31, 2013

Conference Room Rates Guaranteed until February 5, 2013

IAATE Conference Florida!! February 27-March 2, 2013

If you have questions about any aspect of our annual conference, please contact usby clicking here and selecting "Conference Inquiry" from the drop-down menu.


Dr. Reillo
Our first official day of paper sessions will begin with our keynote speaker, Dr. Paul Reillo, Director of the Rare Species Conservatory. Dr. Reillo is founding director of the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation, a publicly supported 501(c)(3) wildlife conservation organization based in south Florida. With a background in environmental engineering (B.A, Johns Hopikins) and ecological genetics (Ph.D., University of Maryland), Dr. Reillo has spent many years as a field-oriented research zoologist and conservation practitioner.

Today he focuses on the demography and genetics of small populations of endangered wildlife, and develops recovery strategies for flagship species, notably Mountain Bongo Antelope (Tragelaphus euryceros isaaci) from Kenya and the endemic Amazon parrots of Brazil and the Caribbean.

When asked why he abandoned academic research to pursue a career in wildlife conservation, he replied, “I simply couldn’t continue esoteric, academic research on individual species, while all around me the forests and ecosystems they depended upon were vanishing.” A dedicated and tireless conservation advocate, Dr. Reillo leads an atypical organization. Known for being lean and pragmatic, Dr. Reillo’s team manages to accomplish what many larger conservation organizations cannot—real-time conservation solutions for habitats and species in peril.

In addition to our keynote, we will also have a second guest speaker on day two of paper sessions. Dr. Ray Ball, Director of Medical Science at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo will answer your questions about avian husbandry and health.

Members are invited to submit their questions in advance. Please email questions to conference@iaate.org. There will also be oppotunity to provide advance questions at the conference.


HotelCrowne Plaza Tampa Westshore
5303 West Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33609


Our host hotel, Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore, is the perfect site for our Florida conference. The meeting space is well equipped for our presentations and the hotel's amenities are sure to be enjoyed by all. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to transport guests to and from Tampa International Airport, as well as to and from other Tampa locations in a 3-mile radius, such as local businesses, tourist attractions, and rental car companies. For those of you who need to stay in-touch with work back home, our hotel also offers complimentary Wi-Fi both in rooms and throughout the public areas of the property. Again this year, we managed to secure the bonus of complimentary breakfast for all attendees, coupons will be provided and are redeemable at the hotel restaurant.

For reservations, US-based attendees can call 1-888-233-9527. International attendees should call 1-843-760-5839. We have secured the discounted rates of $135.00 for single or double occupancy. Please be sure to mention your affiliation with IAATE when making your reservation. The hotel will be holding our block of rooms until February 5, 2013. The special rate and room availability are guarenteed for the dates of February 24-March 3, 2013.

You can also register online. Click HERE to book your guestroom by Saturday, February 5, 2013!

Hotel Pool

Directions to Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore Hotel

Attendees traveling by air: Fly into Tampa International Airport and simply request the hotel shuttle for Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore.

Attendees traveling by car:

From I-275 Northbound

  • Exit 39A / Kennedy Boulevard
  • Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore is located less than 0.5 miles on the left side.

From I-4 / I-275 Southbound

  • I-4 South will merge into I-275 South
  • Exit 40A / Westshore Boulevard
  • Go left at light onto Westshore Boulevard
  • Take a right onto West Kennedy Boulevard
  • Stay in the left lane and follow to second light
  • Turn left, which remains West Kennedy Boulevard
  • Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore is on the right side


Thursday, Feb 28

What Makes an Expert and Expert?
Barbara Heidenreich, Animal Trainer and Behavior Consultant

Creating Connections between People and Parrots: Managing the Lorikeet Encounter at the Philadelphia Zoo
Catherine Vine, Bird Keeper, The Philadelphia Zoo

Station Training a Naive Stork in a Multi-species Exhibit
Lyndsay Newton, St. Augustine Alligator Farm

Unwrapped: Holiday Free-flight Demos at the Zoo
Tanya Drapeau, Falcon Environmental Services

The Art of the Lure: Lure flying falcons for shows
Gareth Morgen, Manager of Birds, African Lion Safari, Canada

Bird Grooming Tips: Coping, Nail Trims and Bathing Options
Cassie Malina. Director of Staff Development,Natural Encounters, Inc.

Training and Utilizing Kites in Free Flight in Support of Conservation Initiatives
Stephen Schabel, Director of Education, The Center for Birds of Prey Charleston, SC

Meeting the Challenge of Excessive Preening Behavior in a Barn Owl
Diane Visty, Raptor Program Manager, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

The Marvelous World of Feathers
Michael Billington, Interpretive Naturalist, The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota

Training for Conservation: Kakapo Recovery
Barbara Heidenreich, Animal Trainer and Behavior Consultant

Saturday March 2

Using Limiting Factors to Improve Bird Show Quality and Creativity
Hillary Hankey, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Who''s Training Who? A Macaw Tale
Jessica Euliano and Melinda Mendolusky, Tampa''s Lowry Park Zoo

Color Discrimination in White-necked Ravens (Corvus albicollis)
David Kaser, Student, Saint Vincent College, PA

Who Says You Can''t Teach an Old Bird New Tricks? Enriching an American Raven (Corvus corax) Through Innovative Behaviors.
Maureen O''Keefe, Senior Staff Biologist (presenter); Adrienne Umpstead, Staff Biologist (presenter); Jessica Sutherland, Staff Biologist; Sara Mattison, Staff Biologist, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Acknowledging the Familiar: The Unsung Heroes of the Bird Show World
Bobby Brett, Trainer, Natural Encounters, Inc.

Interactive feedings in large free-flight aviaries.
Dave Miller, Lead Trainer, Wetlands of the Americas, National Aviary

The Flamingo''s Parade
Fernando Mendoza, Chief of Animal Conditioning Department, Xcaret Park, México

The Power of Trust
Steve Martin, Natural Encounters, Inc.


Pre-Conference Trips

Pre-register for ONE trip only. Reservations will be made on a first come, first serve basis. Space permitting, payment reserves your space.

  1. Natural Encounter’s Training and Education Facility
    The pre-conference trip to the Natural Encounters Training and Education Facility will include much more than the tour of the 34-acre facility. Participants can attend a behavior and training workshop facilitated by Steve Martin and live training demonstrations with many of the more than 400 birds at the facility. From flocks of free-flying macaws soaring overhead to multiple training demonstrations involving a wide variety of birds conducted by the expert NEI training staff, this experience will be as empowering as it is entertaining.
    Cost: $40
  2. Swimming With Manatees
    Join us with Birds Underwater Manatee Tours for a day of swimming with Florida’s state marine mammal, the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). These gentle giants are an endangered species found only in Florida waters. February is peak manatee season so we will head to Crystal River and spend the afternoon swimming in Kings Bay where lots of manatees hang out during the winter months. Dolphins are known to frequent the area as well so be sure to bring those cameras with you so you can capture the moment with these amazing animals! Limit of 50 participants
    Cost: $75

Night Out

The Columbia Restaurant and Bar Hopping in Ybor City

Venture out for a night on the town in Tampa’s Ybor City Historic District, the hub of Tampa’s night life. Enjoy dinner in a private room of the famous Columbia restaurant, while enjoying a live flamenco dance performance. When finished with their delicious Spanish cuisine, take a walk on the 7th avenue strip where you will find plenty of entertaining bars and night clubs. Ybor City has something for everyone and so be ready for an exciting time out and about.
Cost: $40


Reservations will be made on a first come, first serve basis. Space permitting, payment reserves your space.

This conference will offer three different workshops. In order to allow participation in two different workshops if desired, all three workshops will be offered in the morning before we leave to visit Lowry Park Zoo and the same three will be offered back at the hotel in the evening after Zoo day. Each workshop session is two hours.

  • Telemetry: Workshop participants will receive an overview of equipment and methods of attaching transmitters to birds. The workshop also includes interactive, hands-on experience locating hidden transmitters. This workshop will be taught by Steve Martin, IAATE President and President of Natural Encounters, Inc.

  • Honing Your Presentation Skills: Develop your presentation skills for publicity, media spots, special events and the public. Learn how to make the best of your talents while grabbing the audience's attention in a believable, truthful-sounding way. Join us with acting coach, Eugenie Bondurant as she leads this creative workship on developing your public speaking skills. Eugenie has been teaching and coaching actors for more than 20 years and has developed programs to incorporate professionals, executives, actors, and students in order to help refine their skills and help them be more successful in their presentations.

  • Equipment Making: Workshop participants will make and take home an Aylmeri style anklet and Aylmeri style jess. The workshop will cover equipment safety andequipment making tools, as well as sizing andsecuring anklets. There will also be a parachute cord jess making demonstration. This workshop will be taught by IAATE President Elect, Miguel Santos of Zoomarine in Portugal.

Cost: $10 each


This year’s hospitality suite is a poolside room so everyone can mingle indoors and out while enjoying the beautiful Florida weather. The hospitality suite presents great opportunities to share information and unwind after a long day of intense learning experiences. This is one of the best ways to share ideas and become inspired by your peers. Please consider bringing video of your show or programming to play in the hospitality suite.

Icebreaker, February 27

Get ready to make some memories as you get to know your fellow IAATE members. Fun and games are in store for you so be ready to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones at this years icebreaker.

Banquet, March 2

The 2013 conference will wrap up in grand style at this years banquet. The banquet is a great time to recognize our fellow professionals and we do that with the annual awards ceremony. Great food and great times are assured.

Vendors and Raffles

Bring your birds back something or find something for your programs in our Vendor Room. Help support IAATE! You will be able to purchase tickets for raffle drawings held throughout the conference. We will once again have our Conservation Raffle during the banquet. If you would like to donate items, please bring them to the conference or contact the Conference Host Committee at 813-935-8552 ext 269 or Melinda.mendolusky@lowryparkzoo.com. If you are interested in reserving a vendor booth, please contact the Bobby Brett at robert.brett@rocktmail.com.

Conference Awards and Grants

Don't forget to apply for an award, such as Behavior of the Year, and many others, or a conservation or education grant. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2013. For the 2013 conference, awards and grant submissions will not be accepted at the conference. This is to allow the committees more time to consider each entry as well as edit video for the banquet awards presentaion. Please adhere to the February 1 deadline! Please see our Awards &Grants section to download application forms and for updated details on how to apply. You can't win if you don't enter!


Download a printable conference schedule here




Wed, Feb 27

Pre-conference Trips


7am - 5pm

6pm - 10pm

Thurs, Feb 28


Poster Presentations

Night Out

8:0am - 5pm

5pm - 6pm

7pm - 11pm

Fri, Mar 1


Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo Day


8:30am - 10:30am

11am - 5pm

7pm - 9pm

Sat, Mar 2



8am - 5pm

6pm - 11pm


Please feel free to contact us using the contact form. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.


 The International Association of Avian Trainers

is an organization for individuals who are active in the field of avian training and who are involved in environmental education programs.

IAATE was founded to foster communication, professionalism and cooperation among those individuals who serve Avian Science through training, public display, research, husbandry, conservation, and education.

Follow the flock... Visit our Facebook page

iaate fb website

and make sure you check out our Monthly Enrichment Challenge Page