The National Aviary’s education birds are a talented flock! These are just a few of the education birds that are commonly featured in education classes, outreach programs, and scout classes. Birds are selected for each program based on the topic and birds may or may not be available on a particular date.
The National Aviary’s African penguins are a warm-weather species from the southern coast of Africa, which means they are comfortable at room temperature! Our penguins have visited schools, libraries, and events throughout southwestern PA to introduce people to how “cool” penguins can be! They also act as ambassadors to educate the public about their endangered wild cousins. The National Aviary is home to 16 African penguins.
Amazon parrots are a group of medium-sized parrots from the rainforests of South America. Most species are primarily green and are known for being excellent mimics. These charismatic birds are not only great representatives of their rainforest habitat; they also offer an important chance to teach people about the difficulties of owning parrots as pets. The National Aviary has blue-fronted and yellow-naped Amazons.
Vultures may get a bad reputation as scavengers, but they play a vital role in nature. Black vultures are found throughout a wide range, from the southern United States all the way south to the Amazon rainforest. While they may not win any beauty contests, vultures display some fascinating (and disgusting) traits for survival in the wild. The National Aviary’s black vulture is named Sarabi, and she serves as a great ambassador for vultures – you might even change your mind about this misunderstood group of birds after meeting her.
Eurasian Eagle Owls
Eurasian eagle owls are one of the largest species of owls in the world with an incredible 6 foot wingspan. They are very similar to our native great horned owls, but are approximately 50% larger and have orange rather than yellow eyes. These predators have a variety of fascinating adaptations, including the ability to fly silently. Three Eurasian eagle owls live at the National Aviary: X, Dumbledore, and Gandalf.
Green aracaris are one of the smallest species of toucans in the world, but they share many features with their larger cousins. The combination of bright colors, lively behaviors, and a comically large bill make toucans and aracaris one of the most recognizable and charismatic groups of birds in the world. Our green aracari, Beatrice, is no exception!
Harris’ hawks are native to the American southwest, Central America, and dry habitats of South America. They are a medium-sized, long-legged hawk that preys on quail and jackrabbits in their native habitat. They are also one of the only raptors in the world that hunt in groups, giving them the nickname “wolves of the sky." The National Aviary is home to two male Harris’ hawks, Jasper and Franco.
Lanner falcons are very similar to their larger cousin, the peregrine falcon. They are native to the Middle East and Northern Africa where they specialize in hunting other birds. When pursuing prey, Lanner Falcons may exceed 70mph. The National Aviary’s Lanner Falcons are trained to showcase their abilities during the summer months on SkyDeck, a unique outdoor theater for raptor demonstrations. The Lanner Falcons at the Aviary are named Horus, Isis, Amut, and Squire.
Macaws are rainforest royalty – macaws are among the largest parrot species in the world. Their brilliant colors and powerful beaks are impressive adaptations to life in the wild. These parrots are beautiful and popular birds, but many people do not realize that they are also very long-lived. Large macaws have been known to live over 70 years! The National Aviary houses scarlet, green-winged, hyacinth, military, and red-fronted macaws.
Trumpeter hornbills are native to forested areas in Africa. With their remarkably large bills, hornbills are often mistaken for toucans, but the two groups of birds are only distantly related. Their bills are similar because both groups of birds eat fruits and use their bills to grab food items that would otherwise be out of reach. The National Aviary’s trumpeter hornbill is named Piper.