Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pittsburgh Aviary, installment 2

After the thrill of the wetlands birds, we had a little bit of time to kill before it was time to feed the lorikeets. Here's some of what we saw, although most of my pics of these inside exhibits turned out badly--not enough light, and I couldn't get close enough to the glass to focus on the bird rather than the wires running through the glass (which is there to prevent window strikes, I imagine). You can click for huge on all these pics.

One of my favorite birds was this ocellated turkey named Oscar:
I fell in love with ocellated turkeys after seeing them on Bill of the Birds' blog--remember? Isn't he the cutest little thing? He was all alone in there; otherwise, I'm sure he would've been a big hit with teh chicks.

This pretty Hyacinth Macaw was napping:
The lighting in the enclosure was weird--orange. Hence the weird photo.

We also passed some windows into the vet room, and they had these x-rays on display:
The top is an x-ray of a Barred Owl whose egg is bound, or stuck--which happens sometimes. Poor baby! It didn't say what they do in these cases, though--surgery? A laxative? On the bottom is an x-ray of a toucan's head and neck--the sign underneath says that beak is barely visible because it's mostly hollow, like a bird's bones.

Here's Gretchen posing by the bird sculptures:

And here's a pair of baldies that was hanging out in their enclosure:
Gretchen told me that one of these eagles has only one wing. Any guesses which one?

Finally it was time to feed the lorikeets!

So they let you into this little antechamber, where you can buy a little plastic cup of "nectar" (which looks kinda like pear juice). You then are free to go into the lorikeet enclosure and the birds just mob you! You have to be careful to keep them on your lower arm and hand, however, as the Aviary doesn't want them to get used to landing on shoulders or heads and then pecking and biting. Eek.

The birds are such fatties that it's all over before you know it. We ended up buying three little cups (total: $9!) but it was worth it. Those of you who've held a bird know the magical thrill of it; this was my first time to be this close to a bird. Even if it was in captivity, I'll never forget what it was like to feel them land on me; their grip was gentle but firm, not painful at all. I could've stayed in there all day, feeding those little piggies. I'm getting a little goosebumpy just thinking about it!

After the loris, it was time for the Tropical Rainforest Room, which was another amazing exhibit. I'll take you there tomorrow! (I love the cliffhanger!)


Bubs said...

Those pictures are wonderful! You're so right about holding a bird--it's a neat experience. It's even better if you can do it without worrying about getting mauled or bitten in the face or suffering nerve damage to your thumb. Which explains why we don't have a blue-front Amazon any more.

Lynne said...

It's so COOL that you got to feed birds on your hand. You look a little grimacy though.

LOVE-love that turkey. He's a beauty!

nina said...

Delia, those colors are spectacular! Can you enlarge it for a desktop? I've never seen such variegation!!

KatDoc said...

Egg-bound birds can be treated with medical therapy - oxytocin, calcium, multivitamins and fluids, +/- a warm water enema - or surgery. the cloaca can be dilated and the egg ruptured with a penetrating object or aspirated with a needle and syringe. Manipulation is then used to collapse the egg. In worst-case scenario, a hysterectomy must be performed.

Why the squinchy face?


NCmountainwoman said...

I am really loving this visit to the aviary. Great photographs and great documentary as well.

BTW: My verification word is ovastram...does that have anything to do with the egg-bound bird?

Susan Gets Native said...

Leave it to Lynne to find beauty in the bald bird.
And leave it to Kathi to discuss messing with a bird's naughty bits.

We have lorikeet feeding at our Aquarium. I almost don't want to go in there sometimes, because of all the kids and their STOOOPid parents who can't obey the rules. (Trying to pick the birds up by their legs, knocking them off of their kids, etc. )
Come to Cincy on your way to California and I will let you get up close to MY birds.
Word verification: scrom (sounds like a testicle cream)

dguzman said...

Bubs--ouch! That sounds terrible!

Lynne--that's my OMG I'M IN AWE grimace. Of course you love that turkey!

Nina--oh, did it not go huge when you clicked on it?

KatDoc--ow ow ow ow ow...

NCMtnWoman--YES! That bird is suffering from OVASTRAM! Poor thing.

Susan--you can't say "testicle" on this blog! I reserve such talk for my other bloggy! hee hee And yes, I definitely want to stop and see your birds; Matty would FLIP.

dguzman said...

Nina--emailing you re the whole desktop question. I don't know this techie stuff!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

You and Gretchen are sooooooo cute! You gals are the best looking birds in that joint!

Lisa said...

That looks like so much fun! What a great way to spend the dreary winter days!