Of course there are parrots at the National Zoo, but yesterday you could also have found a sun conure named Stewie and a White Capped Pionus named Mika at the zoo in DC. That’s because the Smithsonian was hosting a Bird Fest this weekend that included games, performances and exhibitors — including a booth by Phoenix Landing.
At the booth, Phoenix Landing volunteers LeighAnn and Carl showed off their African Greys Pepper and Franco and talked to passers-by about the good work our nonprofit parrot adoption and welfare organization does. I think I also gave variations on my spiel several dozen times, passed out literature and told everyone who came up to Stewie and said “Oh, how beautiful!” that they’re looking at “pound-for-pound, the loudest thing you’ll ever meet.” And if Stewie was being cooperative, he’d let out the same loud shriek they’d been hearing from all across the fair. Almost all the kids would literally flinch or jump the first time they heard it up close. 🙂
Some of the best questions/comments from the day included:
Man pointing at Stewie authoritatively: He looks like a cross between a parrot and a parakeet.
Several people, noticing Pepper’s tail: I saw this bird last year, but she didn’t have that red tail. I would’ve noticed that.
Teenage girl, looking directly at the birds from 6 inches away: Are they real? (No, they’re robots)
Like a total dolt, I forgot to bring my camera, so I can’t show off any pictures of the birds at the zoo (or the Orangutan who climbed overhead), but it was a fun outing. If Phoenix Landing invites me to join them again next year, I’ll be sure to post photos of Bird Fest 2010 next time around.
Don’t you LOVE some of those questions you get? When I was working at the Cincinnati Zoo, I saw a guy from the “Wings of Wonder” free flight bird show doing a demo with a hornbill. Someone pointed at the Rhinocerous Hornbill and asked,” Are all of their beaks like that?” the guy holding the bird doing the demo answered diplomatically and with a slight smile, ” Only the Hornbills.” I thought he was going to absolutely die trying to keep from laughing!