PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A new, one-of-a-kind, show is set to open at the National Aviary.

It gives new meaning to the words, “close encounter.”

If you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal with birds, their new show “Taking Flight, An Aerial Adventure,” might interest you.

“There’s nothing like watching birds fly outside. I fly birds all the time in various places, but watching the macaws and the owls do their things with this beautiful sky, I mean, there is nothing like it in the world,” Curator of Behavioral Management Cathy Schlott said.

Don’t expect to check out the birds from a distance because they’ll be swooping just inches over the audience.

“We always joke, we say you know, if you duck, they are just going to fly lower, because that’s what they do,” Schlott said.

The team at the Aviary has been training the birds, some veterans, for this specific show for about six months.

Some caught on faster than others.

“Because we can’t control the environment, so these birds have to be ready to be able to handle any weird thing that flies over, any noises, anything that happens right over that wall in the West Park. We don’t want them to be nervous. So, a lot of it is just desensitizing them to all the novel stimuli that’s out in the environment,” Schlott said.

During the show, you’ll learn about each bird and its habitat.

Conservation will also be a focus.

There was a similar free-flight show at the Aviary back in 2009, but this one promises new twists and more birds than ever.

“We’ll have owls, we’ll have macaws, blue-fronted amazons, we’re going to have a kookaburra, we’re going to have a lot of different birds,” Schlott said.

This new show will debut on May 24 in the Rose Garden. It will run twice a day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and it is included with the cost of admission.


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