If you haven't heard already, there is a new bird on the block. Meet the newest kea and Kea Bachelorette contestant, Ikaroa! She has been causing quite the stir as the newcomer on the scene. Whether by accident or on purpose, she has earned her place as potential competition with our other bachelorette, Scarlet (silver band).

Ikaroa (black and yellow band) was born in 2014, making her one of the oldest kea among her exhibit-mates. She was born in the same year as Gonzo (blue band) and has formed a special bond with him (at least for the time being), signaling that she may prefer a more mature mate. However, she has also been seen spending time with the leader of the pack, Arthur (orange band), so it is still a mystery as to who will find courtship with the new bird. One thing is certain, she knows how to keep them all on their toes. 

 

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This incredible bird traveled a long way to get to her new home, coming all the way from Bomlitz, Germany at Walsrode Bird Park. She made a brief stop at the Bronx Zoo before finally finding her way to the Aviary and her new role as a kea bachelorette. She believes in staying true to who she is and where she came from. Whether or not the other kea like it, her favorite thing to listen to is German nursery rhymes. Her favorite song seems to be "wheels on the bus" and she can be seen excitedly running to the speaker whenever she hears the tune. She enjoys a good meal and is quite the foodie. Papaya, mango pits, coconut, corn and nuts are some of her favorites treats, but when it comes to water, it seems she would rather play with it than drink it. Whenever given the chance, she will dump the water bowl out the second she can. She does love baths, however, and indulges in them more and more as she gets comfortable in her new home. 

 

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If you're interested in getting to know more about our newest kea queen and how she does in her new role on The Kea Bachelorette, be sure to tune in to the drama every Friday on facebook! Find out how she does as the new lady on the scene, who is interested in who, and who is just hungry! Be sure to spot each contestant by their special band color: Arthur (orange), Steve Austin (red), Gonzo (blue) and our lovely ladies, Scarlet (silver) and Ikaroa (black and yellow). You can also spot her and her fellow show-mates every day in person at the Expedition Kea exhibit. 

 

 

- Mackenzy Johnson, Public Relations Coordinator

 

Published in Bird Tweets

 

Tracy Aviary's conservation department has a lot of volunteer-friendly community science programs. These opportunites are unique ways for people of every age to enjoy the outdoors while taking action toward increasing their knowledge of birds and their natural habitat. We have something for people of every commitment level, with hikes and surveys for both families and for those looking for a challenge.  Dont just take our word for it, though. This is what one volunteer had to say about her experience with Tracy Aviary's Alta Bird Monitoring Project.

 

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This spring I volunteered for the Alta Nest Box Monitoring Project.  A training session was held at Tracy Aviary before the season started and volunteers were introduced to the importance of collecting data on nesting birds in Alta and on the history of how the project began. We learned how Tracy Aviary monitors nest boxes and how to take pictures inside owl and song bird nest boxes by using a camera attached to a paint roller extension pole. We were able to practice taking pictures inside the boxes by either placing the camera in the entrance hole of the owl box or by lifting up the top of the songbird box.  We were also taught how to use a GPS to locate the nest boxes at Alta and how data is recorded for each nest box. 

The actual nest box monitoring adventure began in March, on snowshoes and we were always accompanied by Cooper, Bryant or Lucila from the conservation department at the Aviary. I have never worn snowshoes before and it was a lot of fun, but definitely more strenuous than regular walking or hiking.  I fell down every weekend, sometimes on my face but I loved every minute of it. It was so beautiful being out in the wilderness snowshoeing to the nest boxes. I was surprised at how low the boxes were to the ground because the snow pack was so high this year and I was impressed with how knowledgeable Cooper, Bryant and Lucila were in pointing out which species we were hearing and seeing in the area while we were going to each nest box. They always answered any questions we had and I learned something new every week.  Early in the season we only monitored the owl boxes and unfortunately we had no owls nesting this year, but it may take several years for an owl to decide to nest in one of the boxes. 

 

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It was really exciting when the song birds started nesting later in the spring. We were able to learn what the different types of nests looked like depending on the species. I saw mountain chickadees and house wrens up close along with eggs and babies in the nest boxes. It was wonderful to watch the parents actively feeding the babies and to hear them inside the nest box. I really enjoyed watching a house wren chick poke their head out of the nest box waiting for the parent to come back with food.  It was very rewarding to know there was a successful nesting attempt and to see the babies grow up and eventually leave the nest.  It was great when people hiking by stopped us to ask what we were doing and we could tell them about monitoring the nest boxes.  One individual even borrowed binoculars to look at an active nest with a house wren feeding it's babies.  It was great to share the experience with them and to watch their face light up with excitement as they watched the adult feed their young. 

Volunteering for the Alta nest box monitoring project was very gratifying and I looked forward to going every weekend.  I highly recommend this wonderful experience where you can get outside, learn about the birds at Alta, get hands on experience in nest box monitoring and work with the great people from Tracy Aviary.

If you are interested in volunteering with Tracy Aviary's community science programs, please click the link below: 

http://www.tracyaviaryconservation.org/application

 

 - Melanie Jones, Tracy Aviary Volunteer

 

 

Published in Bird Tweets

Here at the Aviary, conservation plays a vital role. It is the underlying mission in everything we do. Each department contributes to our conservation and education efforts. Our events and fundraisers are dedicated not only to our birds, but also our environment and education programs that teach how we can take better care of the world we live in while inspiring others to do the same. 

Next week, Tracy Aviary is proud to be participating in Latino Conservation Week (LCW).  We have partnered up with Utah Chapter Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Summit Land Conservancy, Hartland Community 4 Youth & Families and Jordan River Commission to bring a week full of great nature and conservation themed activities for the whole family. This national nine day celebration goes from July 13th through the 21st and is all about providing an opportunity for all members of the community, including Latinos, to come together to demonstrate their passion for the outdoors and it’s preservation. 

 

How to Enjoy Latino Conservation Week:

 

river.jpgMonday:

The week will begin with an invitation to “Relax at the River”. This free Tracy Aviary program is getting a special LCW twist and begins on Monday, July 15th from 6:00pm to 8:30pm at Inlet Park in Saratoga Springs. Complete with snacks, games, and activities that allow you to get to know the River better. You will get a chance to hear from Latino community leaders, share your connection to the River, and play some Loteria for fun prizes. Enjoy family night with Tracy Aviary, Utah Chapter Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Jordan River Commission while learning important steps in creating a better future for you and your loved ones.

 

41521980371_617590043f_o.jpgTuesday: 

Find Utah Chapter Sierra Club and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance at "Partners in the Park" from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Riverside Park. Their booth will be honoring Latino Conservation Week, and there will be lots of fun activities to choose from!

 

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Conservation Night at the Aviary! Enjoy a night at the Aviary after closing from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Tracy Aviary members and LCW participants can experience a free “Conservation in Your Own Backyard” series of activities, games and take-home crafts designed to highlight ways that everyone can learn about and help out their local birds. 

 

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Start the day the right way with Summit Bioblitz! Come enjoy the beautiful outdoors in Summit County as your learn about birds, the outdoors and conservation in celebration of Latino Conservation Week! You will get the chance to hike in beautiful Park City with Tracy Aviary, Chapter Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Summit Land Conservancy while you learn and participate in plant identification, bird identification, etc. Lunch/snacks will be provided. 8:00am to 12:00pm.

 

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End LCW strong with a Jordan River Cleanup party! Join Hartland Community 4 Youth, Utah Chapter Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, and Jordan River Commission for a service outing on the Jordan River in honor of Latino Conservation Week. From 10:00am to 2:00pm along with your local community, you can take part in coming together to enjoy and protect this important River.

 

Latino Conservation Week is a great expression of the importance of community, conservation and the natural world around us. It is through community and personal action that our efforts to build a better future for our planet's progress. No matter how you choose to enjoy LCW,  we invite you to make personal goals toward sustainability. This week is a great opportunity to get outside and participate in activities and events that both celebrate and educate the importance of our local environments and wildlife.  

 

-Mackenzy Johnson, Public Relations Coordinator

Published in Bird Tweets