Senior Care

Teaching Hospital: Senior and Special Needs Care

Birds are fragile creatures. Their hollow bones can easily fracture, and their delicate respiratory systems leave them prone to infection. Birds are also incredibly resilient, and with veterinary care and attention, they can thrive and live long lives. The National Aviary’s Teaching Hospital is home to birds who require extra nursing care for conditions related to age or a disability.

Just as humans face challenges as they get older, birds can also develop common age-related conditions, such as arthritis and cataracts. Female birds can become “egg-bound,” a condition that prevents them from passing eggs naturally and requires immediate medical assistance or surgery to save their life. Some birds develop kidney conditions as they age which can lead to gout, but can be treated successfully with human-grade prescriptions modified for each bird’s needs.

Each year, more than 50 pre-veterinary and veterinary technician students from around the world come to the National Aviary to train in the Teaching Hospital. In this setting, the students care directly for senior and special needs birds while gaining invaluable experience in avian medicine. Students learn to administer medications, prepare and feed meals to the birds, perform husbandry, and assist with check-ups.

The National Aviary’s Teaching Hospital strives to provide the best possible lifestyle to its residents, and to give them the habitats and nursing care that they need to continue thriving into old age, while training the next generation of avian veterinarians.

Brad, a Crested Cuoa, is one of the residents of the National Aviary’s Teaching Hospital.

In The News

See All News

Kidsburgh’s 2023 big guide to summer camps in Pittsburgh and the region | Kidsburgh

The National Aviary summer camps are superhero-themed and focus on the amazing adaptations that birds possess.

Read More »

7 Adorable Proposal Stories – & What We Can Learn From Them | DatingNews.com

On one particular occasion, the National Aviary was able to pull off a grand proposal that included penguins playing as the true love masterminds behind it all.

Read More »

Feed A Sloth At National Aviary In Pennsylvania For An Adorable Adventure | Only in Your State

Explore the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, a family-friendly destination that’s home to countless birds and a few mammals – from penguins and bald eagles to sloths.

Read More »

How Are Visitors — And Birds — Reacting To The National Aviary’s New Wetlands? | Pittsburgh Magazine

Four months after the National Aviary opened its $3 million renovated Wetlands exhibit, the space is getting high marks — not only from visitors, but also from the birds.

Read More »