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Hi, bird trainer Brendan here, the one on the exchange program in Canada. Working over seas gives me so many opportunities to work with animals I have never trained before, from skunks, to yak, to raccoons and … Violet Turacos!? Never heard of the word turaco before? I don’t blame you, neither did I until I came here. The species I am working with is also called a Violaceous Plantain-eater, but I suppose that doesn’t help you either.
At the Taronga Zoo Free Flight Bird Show, we not only give our visitors an insight into the amazing life of birds, but our birds also help contribute towards conservation of species in the wild.
Beaver-tails, funnel cakes, baseball, peppers (capsicums!) and skunks. None of these were part of my world until recently, some of these weren’t even part of my vocabulary and in retrospect I think I still wish funnel cakes wasn’t.
Once found weak and unable to fly, Barinya the White Bellied Sea Eagle has slowly graduated to short flights over the amphitheatre at the QBE Free Flight Bird Show which she now calls home.
Hi, I am Natasha, Aboriginal Education Officer at Taronga Zoo. Since recently starting at the zoo I've been caught up in school holiday fever with all the NAIDOC celebrations that are going on in the Zoo. NAIDOC week recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and their contributions to the Australian community.
The other day I went out of the zoo to fly my female Peregrine Falcon, Nike. I’ve been training Nike since October now and everyday she’s becoming a more and more competent flier.
It’s recently come to the attention of the Bird Show crew that there is a wild Powerful Owl hanging out in the Zoo grounds. Powerful Owls are a vulnerable species often found in wooded areas, along the east coast of Australia, so to have one in the Sydney CBD area is amazing!
Barry the Pacific Baza is a stunning addition to our bird show.
The crazy ups and downs of the weather lately have made for some interesting flying for Dixie the Whistling Kite. On the hot, still days she has done more sitting than flying but the constantly changing temperatures and wind directions have meant that on other days she’s done some spectacular flying. Southerly breezes bring the best flying conditions to the bird show and those are the days that I feel truly lucky to be doing this job!
Lately we have been doing quite a bit of work with falcons at Bird Show, rehabilitating Clarkie, lure flying Khan and recently we’ve been training Nike. Nike is a female Peregrine Falcon named after the Greek goddess of Victory. When we lure fly our falcons, the falcons always win. I thought the name was very appropriate.

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