Saturday December 15th will be Tracy Aviary’s sixth annual Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids). Why should you get out in the winter weather with us?

1 - Unplug and get moving!

In the winter, it’s easy to turn to screens for entertainment. The CBC4Kids provides a fun and easy way to be active and enjoy the outdoors.

2 - Spend quality time together.

The “for Kids” part might be a little misleading. This is for the whole family! Though children may be dropped off for the CBC4Kids, we love it when adults join the party. 

Why IS it called “for Kids” then? The CBC4Kids is a companion to National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, in which participants try to count EVERY BIRD in a 15-mile diameter circle within a 24-hour period. Sounds daunting for kids, right?! That’s why the CBC4Kids count is only 1 ½ hours in a much smaller area.

Is 1 ½ hours still too long for your kiddo? That’s why we developed the CBC for Little Chicks, ideal for ages 2-7, accompanied by an adult. It’s full of games, stories, and crafts that you can join and leave at your leisure.

3- Be a part of history.

The Christmas Bird Count has been happening every year since 1900! Learn how the old holiday tradition of the “Side Hunt” turned into the oldest citizen science project in the world at

 4 - Do an act of service.

The birds we count in the CBC4Kids contribute to the international network of counts happening within a two week period around Christmas. This massive snapshot of where birds are during our winter contributes to scientific research that informs how we conserve our natural world. Your participation makes a difference!

Photo 1 Braving the Cold

5 - Get to know your feathered neighbors.

Discover which birds can tough it out here in the city with us, even as temperatures drop.

6 - Gain new skills.

Experienced Aviary birders will give you a crash course in binoculars and bird identification before we get counting.

7 - Score a DEAL!

This is one of our most affordable programs at just $3/person, including admission!

Photo 3 Birding

Ready to sign up? Learn more and register at 

Published in Bird Tweets
September 26, 2018

A Kea Goodbye

This week we bid farewell to two of our kea, Takaro and Roy. They are off on a new adventure at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The Cleveland zookeepers have been anxiously awaiting their landing and preparing their new exhibit for their arrival.  

Our two curious kea will be packed in a double enclosure on their trip and their crates will be filled with interactive toys to keep them busy and safe as they fly to Cleveland.

27998169918 89963b1931 o

Takaro and Roy are brothers that have been at Tracy Aviary since 2012. They came to the Aviary when they were about a year and a half old. Some entertaining insights on the duo: Takaro loves blueberries and Roy loves peanuts. Roy is the more reserved of the two, and Takaro has a more outgoing personality.

The brothers have been together their whole life and get along really well. We will miss our feathered friends, but we’re excited for Cleveland to help us to tell the story of our amazing kea friends.

26519238777 8ea841bd5d o

The goal of our kea exhibit is to provide an environment for Kea to match up with approved pairs as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. Within the next few months, you’ll be able to see Scarlet’s two new potential suitors, Arthur and Steve Austin. The AZA acts as an animal matchmaker. They carefully analyze each bird and pair them up with other birds that would be an ideal match for healthy, genetically diverse offspring.  

Tracy Aviary is home to a unique, one-of-a-kind match-making facility designed to give our kea the ability to choose a mate. In the wild, breeding typically occurs when kea have multiple options for suitors. Unlike the majority of zoos in the country, our exhibit allows us to give our female kea, Scarlet, the chance to meet male kea to choose from.

26519664977 9131d9ab16 k

For the safety of the birds, the introduction period is a slow process. First, there is a quarantine period. Then our keepers base the introduction on how the birds react with each other. The keepers pay careful attention to the way that all birds react in order to make sure the transition is a smooth one.

We find that our kea are often more active as the temperature drops, so it’s the perfect time to plan your visit to Tracy Aviary. Keep an eye out for Scarlet’s new suitors coming from the Cincinnati Zoo in November, and don’t forget that we’re open 363 days a year!    

26519241687 c03d791602 k

Published in Bird Tweets