Think Pink! New Encounter Puts Guests Up-Close with Ntl Aviary Flamingos

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Think Pink! New Encounter Puts Guests Up-Close with Ntl Aviary Flamingos

Oct 21, 2009

Contact: Laura Ellis, 412.559.3519

A new program is giving guests a rare encounter with the American flamingos that reside in the Wetlands exhibit at the National Aviary.

Flamingo Connection gives participants the chance to walk among and interact with the National Aviary’s flock of American flamingos. Guests will climb down into the exhibit’s pond area for an extra close look at the birds’ remarkable physical attributes, from their bright pink feathers to their slender legs and curved beaks.

Guests will observe the birds’ movements and feeding technique (flamingos feed by scooping up fish and filtering the water out of their beaks), while Aviary trainers talk about the birds’ behaviors and the challenges the birds are facing in the wild. Guests may even have the remarkable experience of being preened by these gentle, graceful birds.

The National Aviary’s flamingo flock comprises eight flamingos, but three – Beaker, Piggy and Sweetums -- are the most likely to come forward to preen the heads of guests who visit.

“These three birds are still juveniles, and were all hand-raised here at the National Aviary, so they are very comfortable around humans,” says Animal Programs Director Steve Sarro. “The experience of being surrounded by the birds is truly wonderful, and we hope to use this encounter to make people aware of the pressures that these and other tropical birds are facing in the wild.”

Guests who participate must wear non-slip shoes and be able to climb down a three-foot ladder into the exhibit. Guests may bring a camera to record the experience but all photos will be taken by Aviary trainers to ensure bird and guest safety.

Flamingo Connection takes place Wednesday through Sunday at 2:30 pm. Cost is $30 ($25 for Aviary members) and includes admission to the National Aviary. Guests must be 10 years of age or older; guests ages 10 -16 must be accompanied by paying adult. Maximum number of participants per group is four. It is recommended that guests call 412-323-7235, x209, in advance to reserve a place.

National Aviary

700 Arch Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

412.323.7235 /

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