Monday, June 24, 2013

Flying High at the National Aviary

I've been wanting to go to the National Aviary forever, but never had the chance yet (I'm crazy about birds). So yesterday morning, I asked Adam if we could check it out. We didn't head over until about 3PM, but it was more than enough time for a first visit for us (they closed at 5PM).

We parked on the street, which was free on Sundays, and entered through the East Entrance. We paid our $13 per person, grabbed a map, and started in the Tropical Rainforest. The first thing both Adam and I noticed were the two huge macaws at the end of the path. They're really stunning birds!

We also found a Victoria crowned pigeon, who didn't seem to care that people were getting up close and personal with it.

Adam also pointed out a few other really interesting birds to me. He loved the one on the left, which had an iridescent sheen to its wings.

This guy cracked us up. We think he was annoyed that everyone was paying attention to the macaws so he got up and stood on the ledge right in front of them and yelled out.

Walking through the doors in the back of the rainforest room, we found the lorikeets (which were getting ready for their next feeding, so I didn't get a shot of them), a pair of rhinoceros hornbills, and a few other beautiful birds.

On our way out of the rainforest, we spotted this Malayan great argus and his incredibly long tail.

Adam was super excited to see the penguins, so we went there next. It was almost 4PM feeding time when we got there, so we decided to hang around while we waited. This was one of the only outdoor exhibits they have at the Aviary, and it was hot out, like 90º hot. 

While we were waiting there was a docent who was describing the penguins to us and telling us that, like humans, they each have their own unique personality. You could definitely tell that some were a little bossy, some kind of shy, but all of them were so stinking cute.

We hung around just long enough to see some of the feeding, it was really crowed and I was starting to feel claustrophobic, so Adam and I moved onwards and decided we'd come back to visit with the penguins just before leaving.

Next up was the Grasslands, where we saw a TON of teeny tiny birds. It was a small room and there were loads of different kinds of finches, sparrows, and two African grey parrots in here. 

I can't remember the name of this bird, but I loved his spiky red plume. 

We exited through the back doors of the Grasslands and entered the Wetlands through another set of doors just a few feet away. In here, I immediately was taken by these crazy looking birds that were everywhere. Their little mustaches cracked me up - I called them the Dalí birds (they're really called, Inca terns).

There were a number of beautiful birds in this room. We saw a blue-bellied roller, a couple of flamingos, a pelican, a crested oropendola, a troupial and so many others!

As we were getting ready to head back over to see the penguins, I had to laugh at the birds sitting in a row on the huge tree branch. Like they were posing just for us!

Why so serious?. :P

Back outside, we watched the penguins swimming around and daydreamed about how we wish we could be doing the same thing.

We said our goodbyes, but not before finding the penguins with my name (Kristen) and my friend Diana's name. Sadly, Kristen's boyfriend Owen wasn't very nice to Diana and chased her into the water. Poor Diana. :(

We definitely could have spent more time there, but it was a great first trip and we can't wait to get back to see the penguins again (in the mean time, we'll be watching them on their live webcam)!

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