Birds up close

Last night I was invited to preview the Birds Up Close show at the Vancouver Aquarium. This unique live show and demonstration is on until September 5th. Visitors to the Aquarium will get an up-close and personal experience with a Bald eagle, Harris’s hawk, a Turkey vulture, and a Great-horned owl.

Judge Dredd the Turkey Vulture

The colourful raptors flew above the crowd from one end of the Wild Coast exhibit to the other, aided by handlers from the Pacific Northwest Raptors (PNWR). The Aquarium sees this as a rare opportunity to explore the relationship between sea and sky through bird encounters as well to educate the public about conservation.

Bee Bop, Van Aqua's beluga mascot
[Bee Bop, Van Aqua’s beluga mascot]

“Bald eagles and the many other raptors we see and hear every day remain mysteries for most of us, being high in the sky or perched at the top of the tallest trees,” according to Dr. John Nightingale, Vancouver Aquarium’s president and CEO. “Birds of prey are an integral part of our urban wildlife and also play an important role in the coastal ecosystem; thus it was important for us to expand the scope of our learning opportunities and offer our visitors a local perspective on this unique connection.”

And now a few words about the animals. Manwe, a resident Bald eagle, has been with PNWR since 2003. He’s appeared in several films and commercials, recently starring in a Land Conservancy and Wilderness International video.

Manwe the Bald Eagle

Judge Dredd (what a name for a Turkey vulture!) has been free flying in demonstrations ever since 2007. He too has been featured in several ads and films, in addition to road trips to Florida and Washington.

Judge Dredd

Harris’s Hawks Ronnie and Lucy often fly together and were both hatched at PNWR.

Harris's hawk

Manwe the Bald eagle

All the birds were spectacular to view as they soared above us, but I fell in love with Darwin, a one and a half year old Great horned owl, who didn’t fly, but instead wooed the audience with his sheer beauty.

Darwin, the Great Horned owl

Darwin, the Great horned owl

Once you’ve taken in the birds, don’t forget about the Aquarium’s other critters!

So cute I am


Nap time

Visit the website schedule for Birds Up Close show times.

Bee Bop, Van Aqua's beluga mascot

1 Comment

  • Pingback by Capilano Suspension Bridge | ariane c design — July 11, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    […] have a few Lower Mainland trainers on hand to show off their birds, but Vancouver Aquarium’s Birds up Close is now on until early September, as well as Grouse Mountain’s Birds in Motion […]

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