"Escape to the Islands" Season Open at the National Aviary with New Daily Programs


1/9/2020

“Escape to the Islands” Season Opens

at the National Aviary with New Daily Programs

New activities, lush habitats, and tropical décor transport visitors to an oasis with chances to get close to beautiful, rare species from islands around the world

(Pittsburgh, Penn.) January 9, 2020 – An island oasis awaits visitors to the National Aviary with the opening of a new season, Escape to the Islands. Now through May 22, Escape to the Islands provides opportunities for guests to get close to beautiful, rare birds—and bats—from islands around the world. Guests can journey through tropical habitats where birds fly, walk, and swim freely around them, and enjoy new daily activities led by experts. These new interactive programs encourage visitors to engage with vivid, colorful island birds like American Flamingos and Victoria Crowned Pigeons in natural habitats.

“Escape to the Islands at the National Aviary offers a chance to come in from the dreary winter weather, be immersed in tropical habitats, and get close to amazing island species from around the world,” says Cathy Schlott, Curator of Behavioral Management and Animal Programs at the National Aviary. “With new daily programming, visitors can take in the incredible diversity of these birds and the unique adaptations that make them especially suited for their habitats. And, they will learn what actions they can take to help vulnerable island species survive.”

A Flamingo Island Adventure excursion brings a lively flock of American Flamingos close to guests, who can toss food to these vibrant birds from the Caribbean and Galapagos as they wade through the pools of the Wetlands. Daily at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., adventurers can volunteer to hold up a fish for a bird to grab on the go, with a National Aviary staff member highlighting island birds—like the critically endangered Bali Myna—as they swoop in right over the heads of visitors.

Victoria Crowned Pigeons, a distinctive pigeon species from New Guinea, step out in style during daily Royal Strolls at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Guests can watch as these sprightly birds bob their elegantly crowned heads and strut by in Canary’s Call, just inches from their feet. As they promenade, a National Aviary expert answers questions and shares facts about this iconic species, known for its curiosity and named for the British Monarch Queen Victoria.

A journey to Canary’s Call Presented by Dollar Bank puts visitors close to a colony of a different kind of winged creature: Malayan Flying Foxes, a species of megabat native to islands throughout Southeast Asia. During 3 p.m. Hang with the Bats sessions each day, guests watch as the bats spread their leathery wings to a span of nearly five feet, revealing their surprisingly cute faces.

Visitors can travel to the Penguin Islands off the coast of South Africa daily at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., where they meet a colony of endangered African Penguins at their daily feedings, and learn about the National Aviary’s work from Pittsburgh to South Africa to help this species survive.

National Aviary visitors can get closer to a beloved parrot species in the newly renovated Rainbow Lorikeet habitat, which reopens mid-month. During daily feedings, these small, brightly colored parrots land gently on guests’ hands to enjoy a sip from a cup of nectar. Another eye-catching species will be taking a test flight with the Rainbow Lorikeets for the first time as the habitat reopens, and may become a fixture in this dynamic, energetic environment.

Escape to the Islands runs now through May 22 at the National Aviary.

 

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About the National Aviary:

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated to birds, and was recently named Pennsylvania’s Best Zoo according to Yelp reviewers. Located in Allegheny Commons Park on Pittsburgh’s historic Northside, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. The National Aviary’s large walk-through habitats create an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to hand-feed and to meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world. For more information, visit www.aviary.org.

The National Aviary inspires respect for nature through an appreciation of birds.