Courtesy of the National Aviary.

The National Aviary
11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

The New Year brings a brand new reason to flock to the National Aviary. Visitors will be among the first bird watchers in Pittsburgh to catch some species never before seen at the Northside destination.

Courtesy of the National Aviary.

During the Aviary‘s newest free-flight show—dubbed Nature’s Voice—bird lovers and new visitors alike will gain fascinating insights into the relationship between birds and humans, while also exploring the significant role that birds have played in ancient mythology and culture—around the globe and throughout history.

Which featured friends are ready for their close-up? Making their first appearance before Pittsburgh audiences is a pair of Burrowing Owls—who were hatched and raised by hand at the National Aviary, along with a Palm Nut Vulture, a species never seen at the site until now and rarely seen in any zoos.

Courtesy of the National Aviary.

Unveiled on January 8th, the first-of-its-kind show runs daily at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Aviary’s Helen M. Schmidt FlightZoneTM Theater. Just a few feet away from the “flighted stars of the show,” visitors will experience firsthand the activities and behaviors of rare and beautiful birds in an intimate theater setting.

See the small but mighty Burrowing Owls swoop, fly and demonstrate signature their burrowing behavior, watch the rare Palm Nut Vulture take flight and and observe the unique hunting techniques of the Harris Hawk—a bird of prey that breeds from the southwestern U.S. to South America.

Courtesy of the National Aviary.

What’s that sound? You can’t miss hearing the unique call of the Laughing Kookaburra—a carnivorous, brown and white bird that is native to eastern Australia. Experience all of the avian action so close that you’ll actually feel a breeze as Silver Gulls and an Eurasian Eagle Owl fly overhead.

The show’s immersive forest was designed by Leigh Taylor of the Pittsburgh CLO’s Construction Center for the Arts. Teaching visitors about the prominence of birds in history, art and religion, Nature’s Voice also features dynamic lighting, sound and on-screen visuals produced by Dan Fallon and video productions created by Parish Digital.

The show also highlights conservation issues impacting wild bird populations today, and provides simple steps that bird lovers of all ages can take to protect birds and the planet.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in January feature.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...