Helen Dishaw, Curator of Bird Programs, Tracy Aviary, Utah, USA
Helen Dishaw currently holds the position of Curator of Bird Programs at Tracy Aviary, managing the ambassador animal program as well as serving on the organization’s leadership team. A lifelong lover of the creatures we share our planet with, over the past two-plus decades she has worked with a variety of animals, including primates, exotic cats, free-flight birds of many species, and many other mammals and reptiles – learning from them as she teaches them to voluntarily participate in shows and programs at AZA-accredited facilities. Helen’s primary focus is on constantly improving the welfare and quality of life of birds in human care. Helen has been a board member of the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators since 2008 and during that time has chaired several committees as well as having a hand in creating IAATE’s Position Statements on various aspects of avian management for educational and free-flight programs and serving as Editor for the IAATE member newsletter, The Flyer. She is the current Vice President of IAATE, a position she has held for the past twelve years, and in this role manages and oversees all aspects of the annual conference. In 2020, she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by IAATE for her service to the organization and the avian community. Helen also serves on the steering committees for both the AZA Ambassador Animal Scientific Advisory Group and the AZA Raptor Taxon Advisory Group and is the Ambassador Animal Advisor for the Raptor TAG.