By Dave Crawley

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — African penguins may be the most popular attractions at the National Aviary on the North Side, but that may change with “Owl-o-ween” opening on Saturday.

And we’re not talking about those shy little “burrowing owls.”

A “snowy owl” named Fleury has put on shows for Aviary visitors for five years. But training curator Cathy Schlott says a pair of non-performing snowy owls will make their appearance Thursday morning.

“We have two brand new exhibit snowy owls,” she says. “So you’re going to get to see them outdoors in an exhibit, with the snow falling down when winter comes. And it’s going to be a beautiful new exhibit that you’re going to be able to watch owls in their natural habitat.”

Snowy owls in the wild blend in with their wintry habitat, the open tundra, which hides them as they swoop down on their unlucky prey.

As for the “wise old owl” myth, Schlott says, “Well, owls aren’t as wise as we would think. They have amazing adaptations that make up for their lack of brain space.”

But Fleury isn’t offended.

He’ll star in the “Wings of Winter” holiday show, opening next month in the FliteZone Theater.

And for more information on the “Owl-o-ween” celebration, visit their website here:

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