Explore Blog

Highlights & Impact 2022

“This is the best day of my life!”

Earlier this year, a group of second-grade students visited Tracy Aviary. It was their first class field trip ever– COVID had canceled all other trips the past couple of years so they were quite the rambunctious group. Our educators gave them a tour of the exhibits, teaching them about birds and their habitats. At the end of their tour the group sat down next to Pelican Pond, home to several species of ducks, and pelicans of course.

One of the kids noticed the ducks swimming through the water. “The ducks!” he exclaimed. “They have webbed feet, so they’re able to swim, just like you taught us about birds that live in wetlands and ponds.”

Tracy Aviary’s impact can be small, like inspiring a group of second graders. But it can also be far-reaching, like breeding birds that are extinct in the wild like Guam kingfishers. Tracy Aviary’s impact is:

LOCAL… in Liberty Park

We participate in Museums for All, in a nationwide program through which we provide free admission to any families or individuals receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits). This past year, over 5,800 people were able to access the Aviary because of this program. Your support helps provide access to these low-income groups, and helps us reach a much wider audience than usual.

REGIONAL… in the western United States

As part of the black rosy-finch study, staff and volunteers collect data about rosy-finches across seven states in the west. Through this research we can learn more about rosy-finch populations (reproduction, demography, population status, survival rates, distribution, or migratory tendencies) and make better decisions about how to conserve habitat and the birds themselves.

GLOBAL… around the world!

Part of our collection, 25% of our individual birds, are “at risk” species, ranging from “near threatened” all the way to “extinct in the wild.” Breeding these individuals in captivity helps us keep a healthy population within the zoo community, continue to connect with guests about birds across the world, and with some species, grow the population for reintroduction to the wild. This past year we successfully hatched multiple species, including scaly-sided merganser (endangered), black-naped fruit dove, laughing kookaburra, red-capped cardinal, cape thick-knee, black-necked stilt, and troupial. We also regularly share individual birds between zoos to encourage genetic diversity in breeding; this year we sent out a scaly-sided merganser and Vietnam pheasant (both also endangered species) to partner zoos.

In the coming year, your support will allow us to….

  • Reach thousands of kids through education programming
  • Survey local bird populations and prepare to establish a Motus tracking tower to gather data about migrating birds
  • Provide free admission to SNAP recipients and Title 1 schools to learn about birds and nature, and enjoy an urban oasis
  • Keep our birds healthy and contribute to growing populations of threatened and endangered species

Our goal this year is to raise $60,000 to support our aviculture, education and conservation efforts. I invite you to join us. Your support makes an impact on communities from right here in Salt Lake to ecosystems across the globe.


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