Canary's Call

Canary Call ExhibitSince the days when canaries were used in coal mines to warn miners of dangerous toxic fumes, birds have been telling us things about our natural world. But are we listening?

Open November 8, 2013, Canary’s Call marks the National Aviary’s first venture into museum-style storytelling featuring interpretive displays to enhance the stories that the birds are telling. It is like no other habitat ever built at the National Aviary, and the birds bring the stories to life. In this way, it is a fitting exhibit to mark the 20th Anniversary of our designation as the National Aviary.

The exhibit describes birds as indicators of changes in our natural world. It highlights five key areas of human impact on birds and their habitats: population, pollution, habitat loss, invasive species, and over consumption.  One of the exhibit’s exciting highlights is the Malayan Flying Foxes. They are giant fruit bats from Asia, part of the mega-bat family, that can reach up to 16  inches long and have six-foot wingspans. Visitors will be able to get within just a couple feet of these amazing flying mammals.

Canary Call ExhibitThe exhibit also features a custom built tree for the bat exhibit, and two touchscreen kiosks with an interactive game that reinforces the exhibits’ key points in a simple, entertaining way. There are 178 back-lit LED panels that complement the live exhibits, telling the story through pictures.

Docent led interactive activities are available daily.

The exhibit’s presenting sponsor is Dollar Bank, with key funding provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, Colcom Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Canary’s Call is a National Aviary must-see!