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North Hills Monthly

Amazing Amazon Opens at the National Aviary

Apr 01, 2018 09:38AM ● By North Hills Monthly Magazine

Green-winged Macaw

The National Aviary recently debuted a new multimedia free-flight show in the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZoneTM Theater. Amazing Amazon, presented by AAA Travel, is the latest indoor free-flight bird show created exclusively for the National Aviary.  

The show, now running every day except Tuesday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., highlights the fragile beauty of the world’s rainforests and the birds and wildlife native to these endangered habitats. Audiences are transported to the depths of the Amazon through dramatic video, theatrical lighting, music, narration, a new custom designed set, and close interactions with rainforest animals and birds.

Audiences will encounter species never before seen in live shows at the National Aviary, including a Toco Toucan, Plush-crested Jay, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Southern Three-banded Armadillo, and Scarlet Ibis, demonstrating free-flight and other natural behaviors. In addition, Valentino, one of the National Aviary’s Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloths, makes his way s-l-o-w-l-y across a vine spanning the stage, while the audience learns facts about this remarkable species, its natural adaptations, and its dependence on the rainforest for survival.  Other birds appearing in Amazing Amazon include a variety of colorful macaws, a Palm-nut Vulture, and an aracari (small toucan).

Video, music, lighting, a custom set design, and live narration by the National Aviary’s professional trainers combine to provide a vibrant setting to showcase the live bird and animal appearances. This multi-sensory production was created in partnership with arts producer Dan Fallon, set designer Britton Mauk, sculptor and scenic artist Peter Johnson, and scenic artist and sculptor Alicia Diaz. The redesigned set includes custom features such as a new floor-to-ceiling clay lick, an intricately designed Kapok tree, and detailed backdrops and stonework.

The intimate setting of the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater ensures that every member of the audience is in the midst of the action, with plenty of opportunities for up close views including birds flying over seated guests and touching down at various places throughout the theater. During the course of the show, guests will learn about threats to the rainforest and steps that everyone can take to help preserve rainforest habitats. The cost is $5 per person in addition to general admission. To learn more, visit