The National Aviary Offers Immersive Experiences with Beautiful Birds from All Over the World
Did you know African Penguins make themselves waterproof? Or that sloths do just about everything upside-down? Or that some of the world’s most endangered birds can be found right here in Pittsburgh? All these wonders are daily occurrences at the National Aviary, home to more than 500 animals representing over 150 species from all over the world, many of which are threatened, endangered or even extinct in the wild. From Eastern Screech-owls to toucans, cranes and condors, Birds of Paradise and everything in between, a visit to the National Aviary is a family-friendly experience that’s exciting and educational for kids and adults alike. With a new theme and exciting programing each season, the National Aviary is a place you’ll want to visit again and again.
This winter, the Tropical Paradise theme provides an escape from Pittsburgh’s chilly weather without leaving the city. This vibrant world of the tropics has plenty to explore. Warm, sun-filled habitats home to beautiful birds capture the imagination. Toco Toucans, Hyacinth Macaws and Victoria Crowned Pigeons add a splash of color to lush tree canopies in immersive habitats where birds fly, walk, waddle and swim close by.
The National Aviary pairs its immersive habitats with daily interactive programing that provides the opportunity to get closer to birds, learn about the importance of tropical regions for the health of the planet, and learn how to help protect these special habitats. Every day throughout Tropical Paradise this winter, participants will be able to see these beautiful creatures face to face at a new daily program, Meet a Tropical Friend. Join a National Aviary expert in the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater to meet a Turquoise-fronted Amazon parrot or a Scarlet Macaw. You may even meet an armadillo! You’ll learn all about the species and its unique adaptations for life in the tropics, and you’ll come away with a new tropical pal.
Tropical Paradise will also feature a Tropical Rainforest Feeding, where birds you may not have noticed before, like Purple-throated Fruitcrows and Fairy Bluebirds, fly down from the leafy canopy to feast nearby. Led by National Aviary experts, this crowd-pleasing event is your chance to catch great views of some of the more than 90 different birds in this immersive habitat. Around the way from the Tropical Rainforest Feeding, catch a glimpse of some featherless friends: a group of Malayan Flying Foxes. Get to know these surprisingly cute bats and the special role they play in their tropical habitats in the awe-inspiring Tropical Bat Hangout experience.
The National Aviary’s immersive walk-through habitats where birds fly freely offer the chance to see birds engaging in their natural behaviors. In these naturalistic settings, birds are foraging for food, courting, building nests, and caring for young. Witness the majesty of Andean Condors in the mountainous Condor Court, where these massive birds sun themselves and preen their feathers on rocky cliffs like those in their native Ecuador. In the Grasslands, watch as tiny finches and sparrows flit around and perch delicately on trees, and listen for their sweet songs in this quiet, serene space.
For those looking for an even closer experience, the National Aviary offers the chance to book a variety of Animal Encounters, like a Penguin Encounter, where you’ll meet one of these charming tuxedoed birds up close and learn about this endangered species from an expert. Or you can hang out with a sloth and get to know all about this slow-moving species’ amazing adaptations. You can also meet a bird of prey like a falcon or an owl, and even hold one of these majestic birds on your gloved arm.
The National Aviary is a fantastic setting to connect with the natural world around us and find inspiration in the beauty of birds. But the Aviary is also engaged in crucial conservation efforts at home and abroad to save birds and protect their habitats. As an accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, the National Aviary is a participant in more than 80 Species Survival Plans® (SSPs), which play an important role in helping threatened and endangered species like African Penguins rebound and recover. The Aviary also works around the world on international field research and conservation projects. By visiting the National Aviary, you’re helping these vital and magnificent species remain for generations to come.
Come experience the National Aviary, where encounters with amazing birds and animals happen every day. The National Aviary is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Tuesdays) and is located on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, in Allegheny Commons Park. Learn more about the National Aviary’s enhanced safety protocols at www.aviary.org. Children under two are admitted free of charge, and Traditional Members pay a one-time fee for unlimited visits throughout the year, with the option to add on a Virtual Membership. Learn more and buy tickets in advance at www.aviary.org.