National Aviary Calendar of Fall Programs and Activities

August 30, 2021

Explore Forests and their inhabitants at the National Aviary this fall!

Take a trip around the world to explore dreamlike, mysterious Forests at the National Aviary! From the dense forested habitats that span North America, to lush rainforests found in tropical climates around the globe, forests are home to a wide array of wildlife and support complex ecosystems. Visit the National Aviary to meet some of the fascinating animals that call the forests home: meet mysterious owls, sociable parrots, and powerful birds of prey! Learn how to protect forest birds and the resources forests provide through interactive daily programming and immersive, walk-through habitats that offer unforgettable experiences for guests of all ages.

Enhanced Safety

The health and safety of visitors, staff, and volunteers is always the National Aviary's top priority. The National Aviary’s up-to-date safety protocols are available at

Daily Activities at the National Aviary:

African Penguin Feeding, daily at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Take a trip to the rocky shores of Penguin Point, where African Penguins waddle by during mealtime. Twice a day, the colony gathers around to be hand-fed their favorite food: fish! Learn all about this endangered species from South Africa and Namibia, and find out what steps you can take at home to help penguin species around the world.

Included with admission

African Adventure Presented by AAA Travel, daily at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Journey with the National Aviary through the rich and biodiverse continent of Africa during African Adventure Presented by AAA Travel. Experience the thrill of an African Penguin waddling by just feet away and an elegant Grey Crowned-crane spreading her six-foot wingspan and flying close by! This immersive bird show takes the audience on a trip through grasslands, savannahs, deserts, and to tropical forests to encounter some of the amazing species that call the African continent home. Learn how to play a role in conserving the incredible wildlife throughout Africa.

Tickets available for purchase at the Visitor Services Desk

Lorikeet Feeding, daily at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The appropriately named Rainbow Lorikeet adds a splash of color to the forests of Australia! Take a stroll through Canary’s Call to meet a flock of these vibrant birds and the gorgeous White-cheeked Turacos that live alongside them. For an additional fee, purchase a cup of sweet nectar—the inquisitive lorikeets will fly down to gently land on your outstretched arm for a bite to eat.

Tickets available for purchase at the Visitor Services Desk

Forest’s Edge Feeding, daily at 11:30 a.m.

In the lush Wetlands habitat, experience the thrill of fascinating forest birds flying close by during a special feeding and expert-led talk. Learn about the adaptations and conservation of some of the species thriving in the Wetlands, like the Critically Endangered Bali Myna and the eye-catching Plush-crested Jay!

Included with admission

Meet an Eagle or Forest Friend Sponsored by Giant Eagle, daily at 12 p.m.

Meet an eagle or other forest-dwelling bird up close and learn about their distinct adaptations as they demonstrate natural behaviors. Understand how different species depend on forests for food, shelter, and nesting, and how you can help protect forest birds.

Included with admission

Barred Owl Talk Presented by Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, daily at 1 p.m.

Who-o-o’s that owl you hear at night? Barred Owls are common throughout southwest Pennsylvania, but these nocturnal birds are seldom seen. Learn about their special feathers that give them the ability to fly silently from a National Aviary expert, and handle interesting biofacts, including feathers!

Included with admission

Pelican Talk, daily at 1 p.m.

Meet a Brown Pelican in the Wetlands! During a daily Pelican Talk, a National Aviary expert will highlight the fascinating adaptations of these iconic water birds, including their huge beaks they use to scoop up—and catch—fish. A few guests may get the opportunity to toss fish to feed a pelican for an additional fee!

Included with admission

Tropical Rainforest Feeding, daily at 2 p.m.

During this expert-led talk, see some of the beautiful birds residing in the Tropical Rainforest. This habitat, full of dense greenery and tall trees, is home to nearly 100 birds. This feeding offers a chance to see species you may have never noticed before as they fly in and land close by. 

Included with admission

Upcoming In Person Events at the National Aviary:


            Saturday and Sunday, October 16-17 and 23-24

Experience the thrills and chills of the season and meet mysterious owls during a fun and family-friendly trip to the National Aviary for Owl-o-ween. Pick up a trick-or-treat goody bag, get creative with an owl-themed craft kit, packaged individually every child, and get the chance to meet a beautiful owl in the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater during a special Owl Meet and Greet!

·       Saturday and Sunday, October 16-17 and 23-24

·       10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

·       Included with admission

·       Purchase tickets in advance at

National Aviary Job Shadow Series

            Saturday, November 6, 13, 20, and December 4

Aspiring veterinarians and zookeepers ages 14 to 18 can spend four Saturdays exploring careers working with animals under the guidance of the National Aviary's aviculturists and veterinarians. This program is a unique opportunity for participants to get a behind-the-scenes look into what it takes to work with and care for the over 500 birds that call the National Aviary home!

·       Saturday, November 6, 13, 20, and December 4

·       1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

·       $299 per person for four sessions

·       Open to ages 14-18

·       Visit to learn more. Space is limited; registration required. 

New! One Day Camp at the National Aviary

            Friday, November 26

Kick off the holiday season with a fun and immersive one-day camp at the National Aviary! While parents shop on Black Friday, kids can go behind the scenes and learn what it takes to care for the more than 500 birds and mammals at the National Aviary. Enjoy exciting Animal Encounters, activities, and explore immersive habitats!

·       Friday, November 26

·       9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

·       $90 for Members; $95 for non-Members

·       Open to ages 6-12

·       Visit to learn more. Space is limited; registration required.

Upcoming Outdoor Outings with the National Aviary:

Birdwatching Kayak Tours with L.L.Bean

            Sunday, September 19, October 3

See birds in a new way: from the water! Meet up with the National Aviary and L.L.Bean at North Park Lake in Allegheny County for a birding adventure by kayak. The professional and experienced guides from L.L.Bean will offer on-land instruction on kayaking equipment, basic strokes, and safety guidelines before a National Aviary expert leads kayakers out on the water to scan the shoreline and surrounding forest for birds. L.L.Bean will provide all necessary equipment, including kayaks, paddles, safety floatation devices, and L.L.Bean Discovery Binoculars. Sunday, September 19 and October 3

·       8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

·       $75 per person, per session

·       Participants must be 8 years or older; under 18 must be accompanied by a registered adult companion.

·       Visit to register. Space is limited; registration required. 

Sunday, September 19: Back to Birding Basics

Head out on the water and brush up on your birdwatching skills. As you take in the scenery from your kayak on North Park Lake, a National Aviary expert will share helpful hints and tips for identifying the birds you see and hear around you. With fall migration in full swing, you may see birds like Spotted Sandpipers, Eastern Kingbirds, and Indigo Buntings!

Sunday, October 3: Fall Flyers and Foliage

North Park Lake in the fall is a sight to behold, and you can take it in from the vantage point of a kayak! Enjoy a pleasant morning on the water looking for birds like Kildeer and Wood Ducks, and listening for the songs of Eastern Towhees along the shore. A National Aviary expert will help you spot these and other species as you experience the beautiful fall foliage.

 Upcoming Virtual Programs with the National Aviary:

Avian Medicine Spotlight for Aspiring Veterinarians with Dr. Pilar Fish

            Tuesday, November 9

Learn what it takes to become a veterinarian from Dr. Pilar Fish, the National Aviary’s Senior Director of Zoological Advancement and Avian Medicine. During this intensive seminar designed for teens and college students, gain insight into the field of veterinary medicine, learn tips for navigating on the journey through veterinary school, and discover the unique and rewarding aspects of a career in avian medicine. A practicing veterinarian since 1994, Dr. Fish has worked throughout Africa and Latin America teaching avian medicine and assisting wildlife rehabilitation centers. Your student can jumpstart their future in veterinary medicine with this amazing opportunity to learn from one of the nation’s foremost avian veterinarians!

·       Presented via Zoom

·       Tuesday, November 9

·       5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. EST

·       $23 for Members; $25 for non-Members

·       Visit to register. Space is limited; registration required.

Upcoming In Person & Virtual Programs at the National Aviary:

Brushes & Birds Art Classes featuring Maria DeSimone Prascak of Maria’s Ideas – Now available in person and virtually!

            Saturday, October 9, November 20, December 18

Create a masterpiece with fun painting classes for all ages, with the option to attend in person or virtually! Learn to paint an animal portrait with step-by-step instructions from local artist Maria DeSimone Prascak of Maria’s Ideas; No painting experience required. Optional material kits for virtual attendees are available for pickup at the National Aviary, with safety protocols in place, at an additional charge. Seating for in person classes is limited.

·       Presented in person at the National Aviary and live via Zoom

·       11 a.m. – 1 p.m. EST

·       Saturday, October 9: Learn to paint a Eurasian Eagle-owl, a gorgeous species with enormous glowing orange eyes!

·       Saturday, November 20: Pick up a brush and paint a Great Argus, a pheasant with long, ornate tail feathers with designs resembling eyes!

·       Saturday, December 18: Paint an African Penguin, a famously tuxedoed bird with a charming personality that jumps off the canvas!

·       Cost per person for virtual class: $23 for Members; $25 for non-Members, plus $20 per person plus $10 shipping for optional material kit

·       Cost per person for in person class: $60 for Members; $65 for non-Members; materials and admission included

·       Open to all ages

·       Visit to register. Space is limited; registration required.


The National Aviary is closed on Tuesdays and on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.


Winter season begins January 5.