Meet cool raptors and cute creatures at National Aviary's Habitat Heroes show | Pittsburgh City Paper

Meet cool raptors and cute creatures at National Aviary's Habitat Heroes live show

click to enlarge Meet cool raptors and cute creatures at National Aviary's Habitat Heroes live show
Photo: Mike Faix
Southern Three-banded Armadillo at the National Aviary
Every fact about owls impresses, from their ability to whoosh silently down on prey, to their detection of potential mouse-sized meals up to half a mile away. Along with other raptors, owls are now the subjects of Habitat Heroes, a new National Aviary show described in a release as revealing the "superpower-like adaptations" of birds.

Presented in partnership with AAA Travel, the immersive show, taking place in the Aviary's Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone Theater, promises to demonstrate the power of various birds as they "fly, strut, and glide" over the audience. Elements like video, comic book-inspired art by Maria DeSimone Prascak, theatrical lighting, and music will serve to enhance the story of "each remarkable species."

Throughout, guests will experience the "intelligence and problem-solving skills" of Green-winged Macaws, the "super-sharp eyesight" of a Harris’s Hawk or Augur Buzzard, and the "camouflage plumage" of a Gray Crowned-Crane. Also featured are the Eurasian Eagle-Owl and Bald Eagle.

Non-feathered friends will also make an appearance in the form of a Southern Three-banded Armadillo.
click to enlarge Meet cool raptors and cute creatures at National Aviary's Habitat Heroes live show
Photo: Mike Faix
Eurasian Eagle-Owl at the National Aviary
Cathy Schlott, National Aviary’s Director of Animal Programs and Experiences, says Habitat Heroes will encourage visitors to "connect with animals in a new way and learn how they, too, can be heroes for the environment."

To emphasize the message of conservation, one audience member will leave with a stainless steel drinking straw delivered to them by a Blue-fronted Amazon parrot.

“Owls have a sense of hearing so finely tuned they can hear prey rustling in the snow far away. Falcons are some of the fastest flyers on Earth. Parrots are incredibly intelligent problem solvers," Schlott says. "Habitat Heroes explores the superhero-like adaptations that make it possible for birds to thrive in even the harshest environments. Birds are habitat heroes because of the vital roles they play in their ecosystems, but even heroes need help sometimes."

The show has no set end date, with Megan Hinds, senior manager for Marketing and Communications and the Aviary, saying that visitors "will be able to see it at least through 2023."

Habitat Heroes. National Aviary. 700 Arch St., North Side. $5 with general admission ticket. aviary.org

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