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
  • Hawk Encounter

    Hawks are precision hunters with amazing adaptations that enable them to see the tiniest prey from high up in the sky. Get close to a hawk and learn more about these impressive birds of prey.

    Hawk 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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Top 10 Things to do in Pittsburgh with Kids | Trekaroo

At the National Aviary, families can enjoy friends of the feathered variety.

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Hike, Bike, Explore, and Support the National Aviary Hike-A-Thon Presented by UPMC Health Plan | National Aviary News

Registration is now open for the first National Aviary Hike-A-Thon Presented by UPMC Health Plan!

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9 groups helping Pittsburgh kids celebrate Earth Day throughout April | Kidsburgh

Plan to spend the day at the National Aviary on April 24, when the schedule is jam-packed with Earth Day fun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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National Aviary Welcomes Its Newest African Penguin Chick | Happy Living Magazine

The National Aviary in Pittsburgh welcomed its newest penguin in January. The chick is the first offspring of parents Buddy and Holly.

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Pittsburgh’s National Aviary Saving Endangered Species Around the World | North Hills Monthly

By supporting the National Aviary and its work, Pittsburghers never have to leave town to take part in conservation programs that are saving birds all over the world.

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