May 22, 2009

Birds of a feather give kids a treat at Zoo's aviary

The official, vine-cutting, speechifying grand opening of the Zoo's new Norco Manufacturing Corp. Aviary is at 10 a.m. Saturday, but that didn't stop the early birds (owww, couldn't resist) kids from enjoying it today -- and proving immediately that this will be one of the zoo's top attractions.

An open air bird cage, big enough for hundreds of colorful Budgies and scores of kids all at once, the aviary allows visitors to get up close and personal with the birds: you can feed, them, hold them, stand perfectly still as they fly around you. We're not exactly sure how much the birds enjoyed all the attention, but it was clear that the kids did -- as they held their feeding sticks aloft hoping to attract, say, a hungry cockatiel.

Parents will enjoy the experience as well, especially if they bring a camera and plenty of film -- er, digital space on the memory card. Below, just a few of the pictures we snapped -- and none of these were our kids, either!

Does this qualify as a bird's eye view?


  1. I was there last night. This is an AWESOME addition to our zoo, and a HUGE thanks to Norco for funding it!

  2. I used to have a parakeet. Those poor birds. I can't imagine they enjoy the manhandling. I also think that unintentional wing damage along with too firm a grip and internal injuries would occur quite a bit. These aren't toys. Doesn't seem right to "play" with living creatures.

  3. I think if the children are properly coached on how to hold the birds and what to expect, they will be fine. Look at the butterflies at the museum. Kids are fascinated with flying creatures. However, a child's age should be a determining factor as to whether they can safely handle a bird and adult supervision is a must with little ones. I think these birds will get plenty of exercise and stimulation, rather than being stuck in a dinky cage.