When I met Brendan and he told me the newest stars of the Bird Show had recently arrived – I was expecting to see a couple of birds. But instead I met eight furry friends, all named after planets! Mercury, Neptune, Mars, Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn are hooded rats and they have just started training for their role in the QBE Free -flight Bird Show.

Mercury and Brendan

They are learning to run along the back fence of the Bird Show so the Keeper on stage can talk about the kind of food Owls and Eagles eat. At first that made me nervous for the rats! Were they going to be food?

No, Brendan explained, that the rats would never be food but they were just to show the audience that wild rats might be prey for birds in the wild. Pheww! That was ok then… !

When I watched them training, I thought they were pretty smart rats.