Dr. Judith K. Hart, a longtime Vineyard summer resident, died at the Monticello West extended care home in Dallas, Tex., on Dec. 9.

She was born in New Britain, Conn., on Nov. 8, 1933 and as a young person spent all her summers in Harthaven with her parents Stanley and Lois Hart, her sister Barbara and her extended family clan of Everett and Gifford children clamming, fishing, sailing and often speeding behind a boat on an aquaplane.

She graduated from the Dana Hall School in Wellesley and received her bachelor’s degree from Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y. She received her medical degree from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (now the Medical College of Pennsylvania) and moved to Houston, Tex., where she specialized in diagnostic radiology. She later moved to Dallas after retiring from the practice of medicine.

According to her lifelong friend and eventual caretaker, Gena Rose, Judy loved to ride horses and when she wasn’t on horseback she was reading and caring for her parrots, who were like members of the family, were not caged and had free run of the house in Dallas.

Parrots were a lifelong passion that would result in saving from extinction the colorful Amazonian parrot, the Lear’s Macaw. In 1984, after five months of research in Brazil, Judy learned that only about 70 of the birds were left in the Canudos region of the state of Bahia. She decided to help save them and joined with the World Wildlife Fund to create the Lear’s McCaw Project. From 1987 to 1990, she studied the bird’s breeding behavior. The parrots breed during the rainy season, a dangerous time when fierce storms can drop as much as 10 inches of rain in a few hours and produce flash floods which Judy endured to conduct her research. The opening of the area to farmers and ranchers had depleted their native food sources and forced them out of their natural habitat because they were shy birds. They were also hunted for food and sport. The population had dwindled to only 54 adults.

Working with the Brazilian government was difficult, so Judy helped establish the Biodiversitas Foundation to raise funds to purchase land, continue research and seek support. She worked tirelessly to publicize the plight of the birds which resulted in locals protecting them. She enlisted the aid of the police to guard their habitat and convinced a wealthy plantation owner to purchase a large amount of land as a breeding ground for the birds. In 1993, she established the Judith Hart Fund to purchase more land and help set up the Canudos Biological Station to protect the McCaw. In 2007, with funding from the American Bird Conservancy and other donors, the size of the reserve was increased substantially. Judy’s work helped bring the plight of the Lear’s Macaw to the forefront and today, with additional support from other organizations, their population has increased 18-fold to an estimated 1,250.

Judy loved the Vineyard and usually visited her Island family and friends every year.

She especially enjoyed canoe and kayak trips on the Great Ponds, with all generations of her family.

Judy is survived by her sister, Barbara Hart Roberts; four nieces, Lois Hart, Wendy Bujak, Linda Acton, and Barbara Ann Roberts; and by a multitude of Hart, Gifford, Everett and Eddy family members.

A family celebration of her life will be held on a date to be determined.