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Holly Starenchak Baukhagen

Holly is a writer, scientist, and aviculturist with over twenty years of experience not only with parrots, but also with waterfowl, poultry, and birds of prey, as well as a variety of other animals. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology with minors in Cognitive Science and Psychology from North Carolina State University. She is currently earning a Master of Biology at NCSU where he research focuses on the cognitive abilites of African Grey parrots. Her passion for the feathered dinosaurs started when she was quite young. Always an avid animal lover, she found birds especially fascinating. Holly brought home her first cockatiel when she was 7 years old. She promptly began reading and learning as much about cockatiels as possible, and was immediately captivated by the incredible intelligence and personality in a 75 gram pile of feathers.

A few years later, Holly began volunteering at a local wildlife rescue. This was her first experience with birds of prey, which only furthered her love for the Class Aves, or Class Reptilia, depending on where you look! She has gained much more knowledge since then and continues to learn more about birds, behavior, and the brain each day. She has spent time working as a veterinary technician in an avian only veterinarian clinic learning a great deal about avian medicine and nutrition. She also spent two years as the supervisor of a pet store where she was recognized store avian expert. Most recently, Holly has spent time working in a poultry lab, an educational psychology lab, and researching avian behavior in the field.

Holly will be beginning a Ph.D program in Comparative Cognition, Animal Communication, and Neuroethology, with a focus on animal welfare and behavior. Holly enjoys writing articles to share her love of aviculture, ornithology, and various other scientific topics. She and husband currently share their home with their beautiful flock including 2 Congo African Grey parrots, 2 geese, and 2 ducks.