Happy Holidays! 5 Truths About the Pittsburgh Aviary

Here’s Part 2 of my one and only trip to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh:

1.) The free-flight birds of prey show, titled “Soar!,” was well worth the extra $5 per person admission.

Mom told me less than 10 minutes before the show’s scheduled start that she wanted to attend this. The Aviary’s staff went out of their way to delay the show and to escort us to the show so that we could watch it. Mom passed away less than three months after we visited the aviary, but on the day of our visit she didn’t “look” like the stereotype of a cancer patient. I don’t believe that the aviary staff had any clue that they were going out of their way to accommodate an ill person.

Keep in mind that we visited the aviary on a weekday on August. The aviary website recommends that visitors purchase show tickets early. Shows may possibly sell out on more popular days.

The free-flight show took place on the aviary’s rooftop SkyDeck.  The birds all wore trackers on ankle bracelets. If you get nervous by being extremely close to large birds, then this is not a good show for you. The birds flew right over our heads and some landed next to us! We saw flying kites, falcons, and hawks.

2.) This bird scared my mom.

We visited the aviary shortly after the Tropical Rainforest reopened after a renovation. Birds and people now co-mingle in this exhibit.  The birds hang out in trees and bushes on both sides of the human walkway. They fly over people and also hang out around a 15 foot waterfall.

The bird that I posted above snuck up behind my mom while she walked through the exhibit. Mom turned around and saw it next to the back of her legs. She jumped and screamed. I laughed.

3.) We watched a “free” bat feeding and a “free” penguin feeding.

As I mentioned in Part 1, mom baby-sat a little girl who frequently talked about an aviary penguin named Tribby. Mom got to watch the aviary staff feed Tribby. Mom talked about Tribby on the trip home.

4.) Don’t sit on the benches in the Wetlands exhibit without first checking for bird crap.

Just like the Tropical Rainforest, the Wetlands exhibit allows birds to co-mingle with humans if they chose to do so. Birds fly over and onto the human walking path. However, unlike the Tropical Rainforest, the Wetlands includes benches. I saw bird crap on the benches during our visit. Be mindful of this!

Here is a photo of my mom and my sister E.R. posing in front of the flamingos at the Wetlands exhibit:

Here is a photo of the flamingos from the Pittsburgh zoo. However, they look pretty much like the flamingos that we saw at the aviary:

5.) In August, the aviary’s exhibits included a butterfly tent.

You could go into the tent, put sugar water on your hand, and encourage butterflies to sit on your hand.

Here is a photo that E.R. took of my mom interacting with butterflies at the aviary:

Here’s a Trib article about the aviary’s special holiday events for 2018. Apparently, the aviary has a bunch of fun things planned.

I visit the light show at Phipps Conservatory every winter. Perhaps I should visit the aviary’s light show and compare the two.

I, personally, would eagerly pose with Santa and a penguin. (Also, Tribby the Penguin is named after aviary corporate sponsor Trib Total Media.)

To be honest, an offer to pose for a photo with Bigfoot would excite me even more! Maybe the aviary should offer Bigfoot photos next year.

Here’s Part 1 of my report on the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. Part 1 is where I grumble about the limited parking options and the pricey ticket options. 

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