I’m participating in a month-long series of posts for Blogger, May I. Today’s prompt is: Five Favorites

I mentioned in a previous post about my fundraising efforts for the National Aviary during my half marathon training. Today’s post is about THE BIRDS that make the Aviary one of my favorites places in Pittsburgh, focusing on my five cute little (and sometimes big) guys that keep me coming back. I stopped in today after the 5K to pay my feathered friends a visit — and tell them all about the goodies coming their way as result of my donations. *wink, wink*

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1. Bubba is a Palm Cockatoo located (most days) in the Tropical Rainforest exhibit. Many former visitors may remember him when he was in the atrium area. Unfortunately, he wasn’t visible today on my visit, but I got SO EXCITED when he returned my “Bubba, hi!” call from his holding area. He endured through many of my long shifts at the Aviary when I had no one else to talk to, so he’s my favorite-favorite.

2. Crested Wood Partridges, much like Bubba, brought me a lot of joy when I was working at the Aviary. I mean, how can you not smile at that cute little red Mohawk and their little round bodies?

3. Franklin, the Spectacled Owl, is not an exhibit bird, but you can get lucky and see him on occasion being walked through the halls during open hours. He’s probably my favorite bird to get a selfie with — and I lucked out seeing him today with a trainer, who let me take a selfie recap.

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4. Aleutia, one of the Steller’s Sea Eagles, and I love to have staring contests. Or, I love to stare and admire her, while she conspires up ways that she can have me for dinner. Either way, she’s a magnificent bird to see up close — and the Aviary has two of these eagles!

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5. The Aviary has private encounters that are an AMAZING way to get up-close-and-personal (or, “nose to beak”) to a bird. You can make reservations to meet a penguin, a bird of prey, or even go down to the beach and hang out with the flamingos. For my birthday last year, I treated myself to a bird of prey encounter and the trainer selected a Lanner Falcon for my half hour exerience. And, well, the picture speaks for itself how incredible the experience is and how the falcons moved up my list of favorites.

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If you haven’t been, you really should make a visit — it’s a somewhat-small place, so you don’t need an entire day to see everything (a couple hours to walk through the open exhibit areas, and see a live bird show or feeding is highly recommended for the whole experience!). And THANK YOU to those who have already donated — and many thanks in advance to YOU if you make a donation before tomorrow.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a bonus picture of the Roadrunner (Aviary just recently added two of these guys into their Cloud Forest exhibit):

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  • I LOVE the insider blog tour of the Aviary. I didn’t know that the birds had names, although now that I think about it, that makes perfect sense. That photo of you and the falcon is gorgeous. So amazing!

  • Oh my gosh, that falcon is gorgeous. They’re so intense and beautiful. Love your version of the five favorites!