Pay a Visit to the National Aviary

May 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Situated on the historic North Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the National Aviary is an absolute bird-lovers paradise. Open every day of the year (except Christmas) the National Aviary offers the perfect opportunity for the public to become better acquainted with an incredible variety of birds. With an annual attendance of more than 100,000 visitors since opening in 1999, this multi award winning attraction is actively pursuing their goal of inspiring respect for nature through an appreciation of birds.

The National Aviary is home to a collection of more than 600 birds, representing over 200 species from around the world, many of which are threatened or endangered in their natural habitats. Visitors are encouraged to interact with free-flying birds in the large walk-through exhibits, and this up-close interaction, including hand-feeding of the birds, makes for an unforgettable experience. Visitors are able to observe the birds in nature-identical habitats, as they go about their daily activities of eating, bathing, grooming, flying and playing. Daily events such as the Penguin Encounter, Raptor Encounter and feeding times serve to enhance the experience of a visit to the National Aviary.

New residents are continually being welcomed at the National Aviary. Some of the more recent arrivals include the Blue-bellied Roller (Coracias cyanogaster), Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus), Green Woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus), Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris) and Shama Thrush (Copsychus malabaricus).

Numerous bird-related events are hosted by the National Aviary throughout the year and interactive programs provide loads of family fun. Lories and Friends is an interactive nose-to-beak encounter with a flock of friendly, curious, and often cheeky, rainbow lorikeets. Visitors can purchase nectar treats to feed the birds at the Lories and Friends exhibit. The Penguin Connection has guests sitting in a circle with a penguin walking around freely among them as the trainer imparts interesting facts about these fascinating birds. For younger visitors, Little Peepers presents craft activities, stories, and age-appropriate facts about birds and conservation.

The National Aviary takes its responsibility as an environmental organization very seriously and plays an active role in avian research projects and conservation with the emphasis on saving endangered species by means of habitat preservation, as well as participating in scientifically controlled breeding programs. There is no doubt that the National Aviary makes every effort to ensure that visitors enjoy their stay and leave with a deeper appreciation for the many colorful feathered creatures that share our planet.

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