National Aviary Birds to Appear on Today Show


Pittsburgh, PA – Two winter-loving birds from Pittsburgh's National Aviary are scheduled to appear next Tuesday morning, December 11th, on NBC's Today Show.  Simon, an African penguin, and Fleury, a snowy owl, will make the trip to New York City with Cathy Schlott, National Aviary Manager of Animal Training, who will have them prepped for their 15 minutes of television fame in the Today Show's Studio 1-A.  Simon and Fleury will be featured with other creatures in a segment about winter animals.  Some 5 million viewers will get a chance to see a sample of the 600 birds of 200 species which dwell in the National Aviary. 

African penguins like Simon come from the southwestern Atlantic shore of South Africa.  Simon and 15 other penguins make up the Aviary's Penguin Point exhibit, which is open daily, at the Aviary's North Side location at 700 Arch St. 

Simon and his ancestors have occupied the cold rocky coast and survived by fishing in the Atlantic’s chilly waters at the southernmost tip of the African continent. They are becoming extinct; which is why the National Aviary has made them a featured attraction of the bird zoo. The Aviary is also a breeding station for the penguins in an effort to restore the population.

Snowy owls like Fleury nest in the Arctic Circle and are well adapted to cold weather.  Seeing them in the wild is a rare treat, although they are not endangered.  Two-year-old Fleury was named for Pittsburgh Penguin goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.  The snowy owl shares the National Aviary's Condor Court with two Eurasian Eagle Owls and an American Bald Eagle.

Simon and Fleury will travel by auto from the Aviary to Manhattan.  They'll be staying at the Affinia 50 Hotel, which welcomes allows who bring creatures for entertainment appearances in the city.  

For more information about the National Aviary, visit us at or by calling 412.323.7235.



About the National Aviary

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises 600 birds representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. The National Aviary works to inspire respect for nature through an appreciation of birds.



Ericka Leigh Houck