Aviary's Choice Awards



Aviary’s Choice Awards

Each bird at the National Aviary has a distinct personality, as the dedicated team that cares for them can attest!  In light of awards season, the National Aviary team is honoring some of our most dynamic birds for their most notable traits. The votes have been cast, and we are pleased to present the “Aviary’s Choice Awards!”


Best Bill

Guinness the Toco Toucan

Guinness is a star in the National Aviary’s Immersive Experience Amazing Amazon presented by AAA Travel. He flies over the audience and shows guests how toucans can hop across vines and tree branches to forage for food. Toco Toucans’ beaks are both beautiful and functional – their long beaks help them to reach fruit in trees and help to regulate body temperature.


Most Dynamic Duo

Benito & Sapphira the Hyacinth Macaws


These beloved friends live together in the Tropical Rainforest. Benito has been at the National Aviary since 1993. Sapphira joined him just last year, and the two became fast friends. They enjoy preening each other’s feathers and greeting guests in front of the Tropical Rainforest waterfall.


Best Dancer

It’s a tie!  Gus the Great Argus Pheasant and Mac the Military Macaw


When Gus puts on a show, it’s hard to miss. To impress his mate, Gus shows her his moves by flaunting his long, ornate feathers, shaking his wings, hopping and stomping!


Put on “Uptown Funk” and Mac will get down without fail. Sometimes he’ll even groove without music. His signature move involves energetically bouncing his shoulders from side to side.


Most Elaborate Courtship

Gus & Mrs. Gus the Great Argus Pheasants

Is he impressive or what? Gus is a persistent bird, always trying his best to woo his lady.


Prettiest Plumage

Red the Scarlet Macaw


With the longest tail feathers of any parrot species, Red’s victory in this category is no surprise. Her striking plumage is most impressive when she’s soaring over the audience in Amazing Amazon!



Rainbow Lorikeets


These playful birds are at their loudest during feeding time. They love it when guests enter their habitat with cups of nectar to feed them, and they aren’t shy about showing it! They vocalize with high-pitched calls when they are ready for a snack.


Most Playful

Benito the Hyacinth Macaw


This big ham loves interacting with anyone who visits the Tropical Rainforest. He often impresses guests with his acrobatics, dangling from his perch and flapping his wings, or simply waving a friendly “hello” with his foot.


Most Dramatic

Joanie the Wattled Currasow


You can’t visit the Wetlands without seeing this drama queen strutting around the benches, railings, and walkways. If she’s not playing a game of chase with the Yellow-hooded Blackbirds, she’s probably enjoying making her presence known among the other birds and National Aviary visitors.


Best Camouflage

Fizzgig and Crick the Tawny Frogmouths


Some visitors need help spotting these camo experts. Their ashy-brown coloration and ability to stretch out and perch perfectly still at the end of a tree branch allows them to blend right in with their surroundings.


Most Majestic

Aleutia the Steller’s Sea Eagle


There’s no avoiding this beautiful raptor’s gaze. Steller’s Sea Eagles are the world’s largest eagle species, and the females are typically larger than the males. Aleutia is one large and powerful eagle. She enjoys bathing in her in-ground pool and standing stoically as guests admire her.


Cutest Baby

Eurasian Eagle Owl Chick


There’s no shortage of adorable babies at the National Aviary! This Eurasian Eagle-owl is one of our most recent hatchlings, and it’s already stolen hearts! The owlet is nearly full grown, and starting to get sleek primary feathers, but just look at this throwback photo of the chick covered in fluffy down!