Dive into the World of Oceans at the National Aviary This Summer
Did you know African Penguins make themselves waterproof? Or that sloths do just about everything upside-down? How about that some of the world’s most endangered birds can be found right here in Pittsburgh? That’s right, all these wonders are daily occurrences at Pittsburgh’s National Aviary, home to more than 500 animals representing more than 150 species from all over the world, many of which are threatened, endangered or even extinct in the wild. From owls to toucans, cranes and condors, 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, interactive activities, and exciting programing each season, the National Aviary is a place you’ll want to visit again and again.
World of Oceans is making a splash this summer! This new seasonal theme features sensational programs and activities exploring the vast world of sea birds as diverse as penguins, eagles, and waterfowl. Visitors can get up close to gorgeous and colorful birds in walk-through habitats with lush greenery, and try brand new interactive play spaces, where your drawings come to life and underwater creatures respond to your movements. Experiences with conservation experts can help you learn how to protect wildlife.
The National Aviary pairs its immersive habitats with daily interactive programing that lets visitors get closer to birds, learn about the importance of keeping the world’s oceans healthy for animals and people alike, and find out how to help protect oceans and the wildlife that rely on them. This summer, as the Aviary’s iconic Wetlands habitat is undergoing exciting upgrades, you can see amazing wetlands species in other free-flight habitats and in dynamic daily programs. Get closer than ever before to American Flamingos during a Wonderful Waterbirds talk. Join a National Aviary expert in the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater to have an up-close experience with these fascinating birds of the Atlantic as they strut close by. Then, take a trip to the Amazon River to meet a beautiful Hyacinth Macaw that will help visitors learn about recycling to keep our waterways clear and clean to prevent trash from making its way into oceans.
World of Oceans will also feature a special Tropical Rainforest Feeding with a focus on waterfowl. During this feeding in the warm and lush Tropical Rainforest habitat, you may see birds you haven’t noticed before, like White-crested Laughingthrushes and Green-winged Doves. You will also have a chance to see a number of waterfowl species like the Marbled Teal ducks that will waddle by on their way to mealtime, and the Ruddy Ducks and African Pygmy-Geese that swim and splash in the ponds. Other waterbirds can be spotted—and heard—throughout the leafy Tropical Rainforest: find gorgeous Snowy Egrets with graceful white feathers perching near you, and listen for the cackling calls of Masked Lapwings, a shorebird with a distinctive yellow mask and long, skinny legs.
In Penguin Point, meet a colony of adorable African Penguins and get to know this species that is perfectly suited for a life at sea. During an African Penguin Feeding, learn about the fish penguins rely on and find out how your seafood choices can help penguins around the world. Stop by for an African Penguin Expert Talk to see cool biofacts like naturally shed feathers that help penguins become waterproof so they can swim with ease. Feel like you’re swimming alongside penguins in the newly redesigned Penguin Tunnels featuring fun facts and trivia, and opportunities to get nose-to-beak with these waterbirds.
A visit to the National Aviary is a fantastic opportunity to connect with the natural world around us, find inspiration in the beauty of birds like these African Penguins, and learn about the Aviary’s engagement in crucial conservation efforts across the globe. As an accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, the National Aviary is a participant in more than 80 Species Survival Plans® (SSPs). SSPs play an important role in helping threatened and endangered species like African Penguins rebound and recover.
Rigorous SSP participation is just one part of the National Aviary’s larger mission to save birds and protect their habitats at home and abroad. As the leader of the Association Zoos and Aquariums Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) program for African Penguins, the Aviary is engaged in efforts to protect penguins and ensure a future for these beloved birds. In addition to penguins in South Africa, the National Aviary also works with vultures in Africa, with Andean Condors in Ecuador, and with several endangered species throughout the Mariana Islands.
By visiting the National Aviary, you’re helping these vital and magnificent species remain for generations to come. Booking an Animal Encounter is another way to have a positive effect on endangered species—and you will have an unforgettable, up-close experience, too! When you book a Penguin Encounter, you’ll meet one of these charming tuxedoed birds, learn all about this endangered species from an expert, and support the National Aviary’s work to save birds and protect habitats. You can also hang out with a Two-toed Sloth and get to know all about this slow-moving species’ amazing adaptations, or marvel at a majestic bird of prey like a falcon or an owl as one perches on your gloved arm.
Come experience World of Oceans this summer only at the National Aviary. The National Aviary is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, in Allegheny Commons Park. 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 aviary.org.