Parker Aviary: Bird lover’s paradise
Although not as large as our other walk-through aviaries, the Parker Aviary’s intimate size seems to bring the birds much closer to those patient enough to wait for the opportunity. Stand on the broad bridge that crosses a flowing stream and take in the sights and sounds of almost 15 species of rain forest birds representing Central and South America, including curl-crested aracari, crested oropendola, Andean cock-of-the-rock, capuchinbirds, and northern helmeted curassows.
To feed the birds living here, food pans are placed throughout the aviary, each one looking like a small buffet table filled with a variety of food items to satisfy diverse appetites. Each morning, the food pans are distributed throughout the aviary, with most of the birds eagerly flying down to see what’s for breakfast. This gives the keeper a chance to take a quick head count. The keeper tries to check on each bird in here, but as you can imagine, it’s quite a challenging task! One way to get a better look is to “bribe” the birds with their favorite treats to entice the flighty residents to come a bit closer for inspection.
Take some time to admire the foliage in this aviary: palms, ferns, and ficus. The pomelo, a grapefruit relative, bears the largest fruit of any fruit tree species: up to 25 pounds! Popular for Chinese New Year, the fruit is believed to bring prosperity and good fortune if eaten.