National Aviary Announces New Permanent Exhibit


October 25, 2013 (Pittsburgh, PA) – On the eve of the 20th anniversary of its national designation, the National Aviary will open a new permanent exhibit named “Canary’s Call.” Opening November 8, 2013, the exhibit will showcase four signature bird species, a number of other birds from around the world, as well as a flying mammal: the Malayan flying fox, which is a species of large fruit bat named for its furry fox-like face, weighing more than 2.5 pounds with wingspans as wide as six feet. Other signature species include the rainbow lorikeet, Guam rail, rhinoceros hornbill, and the exhibit’s namesake, the canary, which will be showcased in a larger-than-life canary cage designed and handcrafted by a local artisan.

“This exhibit showcases birds in a new way – as storytellers – in what is the National Aviary’s first venture with an interpretive museum-style exhibit. In Canary’s Call, the messaging, imagery, interactive components, and live animals combine to create a compelling experience for visitors,” says National Aviary Managing Director Cheryl Tracy.

The exhibit’s name is derived from the story of the canary, which for years was used in coal mines to warn miners of dangerous conditions. Today, there are figurative canaries all around us, and birds act as indicators of positive and negative environmental change. The Canary’s Call exhibit showcases birds as the storytellers to illustrate human impact in five areas: overpopulation, pollution, habitat loss, invasive species, and overconsumption.

In true National Aviary fashion, the distinctive bird species and bats will be exciting for visitors to see up close,” says Patricia O’Neill, director of education and project manager for exhibit messaging. “We’ve also included an interactive game visitors can play at two touchscreen kiosks. Visitors will have fun, but there’s a deeper message, too, about the impacts we have on our environment. The exhibit is designed to encourage thought and discussion that can lead to positive change.”

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

Interested media outlets may obtain more information, interviews, and preview tours of the exhibit by contacting Robin Weber, Director of Marketing and Communications at 412-258-9435.