Iconic Birds

These Iconic Birds from around the globe tell the conservation stories of their species. The birds in this category are beloved by visitors and are instantly recognizable. When you name an Iconic Bird, you get access to special benefits, including an exclusive photo session with your bird and a commemorative book from your visit.

To inquire about Name-A-Bird opportunities, please contact Ted Bartlett at ted.bartlett@aviary.org or 412-258-9433.

Naming Agreement and Understanding: Following approval of the requested name, the name will be registered in the official ZIMS registry and shall remain the official name for the entirety of the life of the bird at the National Aviary. Due to the nature of working with live animals, specific lifespans of animals cannot be guaranteed. Because the National Aviary is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® program, a coordinated conservation effort to save animals from extinction, there is no guarantee that the bird will remain at the National Aviary for its full lifespan, and may be subject to relocation at any time to another AZA institution or to be released to the wild.

The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is native to South Africa and Namibia, and is one of 18 penguin species around the globe. African Penguins have experienced a rapid and steep decline, losing over 90% of their population since the turn of the twentieth century, and are now listed as an Endangered species. Only 13,000 pairs remain in the wild in South Africa. The National Aviary is home to a colony of African Penguins, including two unnamed males who have recently joined the flock.

Two African Penguins against a blue backdrop
  • African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus)
  • Type of Bird: Waterbird
  • Native Range: South Africa and Namibia
  • At the Aviary: Resides in Penguin Point
  • Lifespan: 20-30 years
  • Conservation Status: Endangered
  • Available for Naming: 2 males
  • Naming Rights: $5,000

The shock of bright orange feathers of the male Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus) stand out like a neon sign in the cloud forests it inhabits across the Andes Mountains. Another distinctive trait of the Andean Cock-of-the-rock is the elaborate breeding displays of the males, who gather at communal spots called leks, where they bow, flap their wings, bob their heads, and call to impress females. While populations of Andean Cock-of-the-rock are widespread, the species, like others along the Andes Mountain range, is vulnerable to habitat loss.

A male Andean Cock-of-the-Rock perched on a branch
  • Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus)
  • Type of Bird: Perching Bird
  • Native Range: Andes Mountains
  • At the Aviary: Resides in the Andes Mountain habitat in Canary’s Call
  • Lifespan: 5-15 years
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Available for Naming: 1 male
  • Naming Rights: $5,000

The American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is found throughout the Caribbean, along the northern coasts of South America, and on the Galapagos, where it forages for aquatic invertebrates like mollusks in lagoons and saltpans, using its specially adapted beak to filter water. While considered a species of Least Concern for conservation, the species previously experienced declines due to the destruction of breeding sites and habitat loss, which remain a threat. 

An American Flamingo standing in water
  • American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus rubert)
  • Type of Bird: Waterbird
  • Native Range: Caribbean Sea and northern South America
  • At the Aviary: Resides in the Wetlands
  • Lifespan: 40-60 years
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Available for Naming: 3 females
  • Naming Rights: $5,000

The beautiful Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) is the largest parrot in the world, with a massive bill designed for cracking open palm nuts—its primary food source. In the 1980s, the population of Hyacinth Macaws in the wild had dropped to just 1,500 birds. Thanks to concerted conservation efforts, the Hyacinth Macaw has rebounded and is now listed as Vulnerable, with habitat loss and trapping for the illegal wildlife trade remaining threats for this and other bird species in their native range.

Hyacinth Macaw perched on a branch
  • Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)
  • Type of Bird: Parrot
  • Native Range: South America
  • At the Aviary: Resides Behind the Scenes
  • Lifespan: 40-50 years
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable
  • Available for Naming: 1 female
  • Naming Rights: $5,000

The male Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea raggiana) is a magnificent sight in the forests of its native New Guinea. It can take several years for males to grow their long and brilliantly colored tail feathers, which they use during elaborate courtship rituals to impress a potential mate. While the Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise is listed as Least Concern, their island home is changing rapidly and the clearing of rainforests remains a threat for wildlife.

Male Lesser Bird-of-Paradise perched on a branch
  • Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea raggiana)
  • Type of Bird: Perching Bird
  • Native Range: New Guinea
  • At the Aviary: Resides in the Andes Mountain habitat in Canary’s Call
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Available for Naming: 1 male
  • Naming Rights: $5,000

The Verreaux’s Eagle-owl (Bubo lacteus) is the largest of any owl species on the African continent. The Verreaux’s Eagle-owl inhabits open savanna and semi-desert areas across tropical Africa, from Mauritania to South Africa. This distinguishable owl is sometimes called the Milky Eagle-owl for its pale pink eyelids. The Verreaux’s Eagle-owl is a species of Least Concern, being relatively common and widespread throughout its range.

Verreaux's Eagle-owl
  • Verreaux’s Eagle-owl (Bubo lacteus)
  • Type of Bird: Raptor
  • Native Range: Tropical Africa, from Mauritania to South Africa
  • At the Aviary: Resides behind the scenes
  • Lifespan: 20-30 years
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Available for Naming: 1 male
  • Naming Rights: $5,000

To inquire about Name-A-Bird opportunities, please contact Ted Bartlett at ted.bartlett@aviary.org or 412-258-9433.

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