Animal Encounters

Animal Encounters

You can get nose-to-beak (or snout) with animals at the National Aviary when you book an Animal Encounter! Get one-on-one time with a flock of flamingos, hang out with a sloth, or spend time with a penguin. Encounters are limited in size, so you’ll have a one-of-a-kind, personal experience as a National Aviary expert shares fascinating facts and details about the animal ambassador you are meeting. Gain a deeper understanding of a unique bird or mammal and learn about the important role they play in nature as you get closer than ever! 

All National Aviary Animal Encounters now include general admission!

  • Sloth Encounter

    If life in the slow lane is more your speed, spend time with a Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth. Learn about these adorable creatures and what it’s like to spend life upside-down.

    Sloth Encounter
  • Sloth Painting

    Participants get the unique opportunity to watch our resident artist and sloth ambassador, Valentino, engage his senses by creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for you to take home!

    Learn More!
  • Flamingo Mingle

    Get a bird’s-eye view from the beach of the Wetlands, where a friendly flock of flamingos will greet you. What makes flamingos pink? Why do they have such long necks? You’ll learn this, and more, from an expert as you feed the flock!

    Flamingo Mingle
  • Penguin Encounter

    Meet an African Penguin up close! Learn how penguins make themselves waterproof for life lived partially underwater. Get to know the National Aviary penguins’ favorite foods, and find out how you can help protect this endangered species.

    Penguin Encounter
  • Jr. Penguin Encounter

    In this family encounter, penguin lovers of all ages can get nose-to-beak with one of the National Aviary’s African Penguins. Watch them waddle by as an expert helps you learn how their adaptations help them survive life on land and in the water.

    Jr. Penguin Encounter
  • Private Penguin Feeding

    Hand-feed the entire colony of African Penguins! Suit up and join an expert in Penguin Point. Penguins will come right up to be fed their favorite foods during this one-of-a-kind immersive experience.

    Private Penguin Feeding
  • Owl Encounter

    With enormous eyes and feathers designed for silent flight, owls are masters of the night skies! Hold an owl on your gloved hand and learn how their hearing and eyesight help them navigate in the dark.

    Owl Encounter
  • Falcon Encounter

    Falcons are fast and fearsome flyers, among the fastest animals in the world. Meet a falcon up close and learn how their special adaptations make these birds of prey the masters of the skies.

    Falcon Encounter
  • Jr. Zookeeper Encounter

    Meet two unique National Aviary residents–an owl and an armadillo during this exciting new encounter geared toward our junior fans!

    Jr. Zookeeper Encounter

In The News

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Verify: Experts encourage keeping feeders down | WUSA

"Keep your feeders down," Mulvihill said. "Wait until there is an announcement from one of the credible sources of information."

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National Aviary Experts Weigh in on Bird Illness | Pittsburgh Today Live - KDKA

PTL's David Highfield talks with National Aviary experts Dr. Pilar Fish and Bob Mulvihill about a mysterious illness that is killing songbirds in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

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Kidsburgh Learning Guide: Discovering the Joy of Outdoor Learning | Kidsburgh

All year round, the Pittsburgh region is full of great opportunities to explore outdoors — and build knowledge about science, math and the environment along the way.

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Seven Days in Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Explore the biodiversity of Africa’s wildlife during African Adventure at the National Aviary.

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Drifting and Watching with the National Aviary | Pittsburgh Magazine

The bird zoo’s collaboration with L.L. Bean is a peaceful summer outing.

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