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North Hills Monthly

National Aviary Offers New Free-Flight Bird Show and More

Nov 30, 2017 01:21PM ● By North Hills Monthly magazine

Bird Brains- Hyacinth Macaw Recycling

In November, the National Aviary’s opened its new free-flight bird show, called Bird Brains, with a stellar avian cast showing off their unique natural adaptations and problem-solving skills in front of audiences at the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZoneTM Theater. Bird Brains will be presented twice daily through Jan. 31, 2018.

Bird Brains explores the concept of bird intelligence and the behaviors, traits and skills various species have developed to survive in the wild. Green-winged Macaws, Hyacinth Macaw, Hooded Vultures, an American Crow, American Flamingos, African Penguin, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Silver Gulls and Blue-fronted Amazon Parrot all make appearances within a multimedia setting that incorporates theatrical lighting, video, music and narration by the National Aviary’s professional trainers.  

Macaws will show how they use their climbing skills and intelligence to master an obstacle course, and crows—considered one of the most intelligent of the bird species—will demonstrate how they employ problem-solving skills to get to food. The show wraps with an appearance by one of the National Aviary’s critically endangered African Penguins and a finale that reminds audiences of the urgent need to protect the planet and the natural habitats of these winsome but vulnerable birds. 

In addition to the show, the Aviary also has a host of other activities and amazing things to see, including three free-flight areas, Wookie, the two-toed Linnaeus’ sloth, and the chance to fly just like a bird through New York City during the Birdly experience.

Bird Brains will be presented twice daily at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (except on Tuesdays) through Jan. 31, 2018. Admission to the aviary is $15 for adults, $14 for children ages 2-12 and seniors (60+), and free for children under age 2. Bird Brain tickets are an additional $5; discount packages available. For more information, go to