Who We Are
We are a nonprofit corporation dedicated to preserving the natural world, especially birds and most especially members of the parrot family. We have selected the Hyacinth Macaw as our poster child for numerous reasons. They are very special members of a very special family of birds. They are beautiful. They are the worlds largest parrot. They are threatened with extinction. They have endearing personalities. They are a challenge to breed in captivity. Etc., etc., etc. They are indeed worthy of special recognition and special efforts to save them. Education, research, ecotourism and captive breeding are key elements in our efforts to help these precious creations.
The foundation was formed by Dr. William D. Clark. It was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the state of New Mexico in 1991 and was recently certified as a tax-exempt entity by the Internal Revenue Service.
The founder and president has had a life-long interest in the natural world. He became an amateur bird watcher at a young age and became fascinated with parrots when he heard an old Mexican Double Yellow-head sing When the Merry-go-round Broke Down at age 4. By age 10 (1950) he had several pairs of breeding budgies and the dream of having a real parrot.
Education and military service delayed major undertakings in this realm. A Biology major in college (University of Texas, Arlington) he next went to dental school (University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston). His dental education was completed just as the Vietnam War was heating up. This led to his volunteering for duty as an Army dentist (1965-67). Medical school (University of Texas, Galveston) followed military service. Internship (Brooke Army Medical Center) and residency in Ear, nose and throat (Walter Reed Army Medical Center) followed. His second army tour ended in 1977, leading to private practice in the Florida Keys. It was here, that he was able to rekindle his interest in birds in general, parrots in particular. The choice of the Florida Keys as a new home was prompted by one of his other passions, angling.
By the early 1980s, he had experience the joys of collecting and breeding numerous species of parrots (including Hyacinth Macaws) and decided to begin studying them in their wild state. That led to the first of almost 30 trips to the tropics of the New World (and one to Cameroon, Africa). He has published a number of articles in the scientific and lay literature based upon his field study of birds, with Hyacinth Macaws being his favorite subject. His articles and observations have been quoted in several important books, including the most comprehensive series of books ever written on birds, Handbook of the Birds of the World, volume 4, page 419 and Parrots: A Guide to Parrots of the World page 417 & 560. His photographs of wildlife subjects have won national awards and have been featured in articles and books by other authors. Some of his photographs and articles appear in several other web sites and a photograph on a commercially produced coffee mug, without his permission.
His day job is serving as a member of the faculty of the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. His care of patients is primary at Christus Santa Rosa Children's Hospital in inner-city San Antonio.
At present, other members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors include his wife, Jeannie and two of his sons, William, Jr. and Stephen.
No officer or director of the foundation has ever received pay or any form of compensation from the foundation. Most operating funds have come from the directors.