As Piglet from ‘Winnie the Pooh’ once said, “It’s hard to be brave when you’re only a very small animal”. But every chick, no matter how big or small, eventually has to leave the nest and for our yet-to-be-named Andean Condor chick, it appears that time is now.
Given its namesake, it’s not surprising that Taronga’s Bird Show boasts a wide variety of birds, from hawks to parrots to vultures and even chickens. But along with those stars of a feathered variety are of course our rats.
Recently the Bird Show has enjoyed some rather windy days, a couple in excess of 50km/hr! Winds this strong can be a little hectic for our birds, and sin these instances some stars may not actually come out, but for others these winds make for the most exhilarating of aerial displays.
At ten months of age and after five months of training one of our newest stars has finally made her show debut. Volunteer and you can try to get a real-time photo moment as the owl flies over your head.
As one of Taronga Zoo’s Indigenous Discovery Hosts, I have been given the amazing privilege of co-presenting a specially written and adapted Taronga Free Flight Bird Show for NAIDOC to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture.
When you think large raptors visions of prehistoric beasts from the pages of ‘Jurassic Park’ may come to mind, however raptors also refers to a specialised group of birds, named for their powerful gripping feet. The largest of those found in Australia is the Wedge-tailed eagle, sporting an incredible wingspan of 2.2m tip to tip. If you’ve not seen one, you are missing out, but luckily to witness these birds in flight you won’t need to travel back 65 million years, you can visit us down at the Bird Show and meet our newest addition, a 12-month old male Wedge-tail.
There was a buzz in the air as our guests arrived, cameras clicking and smiles all round. With the spectacular view of Sydney Harbour in the background, this was clearly going to be an exciting event as the finalists for Tourism Australia’s The Best Jobs in the World competition joined keepers in the Bird Show amphitheatre. To greet them, there was myself and some other members of the Taronga team, including a Diamond Python, Short-beaked Echidna, White-tailed Cockatoo and my counterpart “Nangaw”, the Powerful Owl.
The Taronga Bird Show’s newest feathered star is Ord, the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. Ord is currently being trained by keeper Brendan to sit on a specially designed box to take coin and note donations from visitors after the show.