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My Visit to the National Aviary

A behind-the-scenes photo tour of my September column.

My latest column—about my recent visit to the National Aviary right here in Pittsburgh—is now online, and I wanted to show you a few photos from my visit. Because they are funny.

pittgirl aviary

Photos by Jonathan Wander


Please note the look on my face. That's about a perfect way to sum up how I feel about birds.

Seeing as how much I hate birds, I have decided that penguins are not birds. And I love them. Penguins are dogs with wings.

pittgirl aviary

This is Steve Sarro, the director of animal programs, talking to me about penguins and telling me that as the human population increases, the penguin population decreases. He also told me that penguins are biters. He wouldn't let me put my hand in the water. I forgive him because he's one of my favorite 'Burghers.

pittgirl aviary

He wasn't kidding. They really bite.

pittgirl aviary

Here's where Steve said, "Hey, put your hand out. I'd like to instigate a bird attack on you."

pittgirl aviary

I really hate birds.

pittgirl aviary

Especially when they get unpredictable and do unpredictable stuff all up in my face, like fly:

And here we have a bird, snatching a worm out of midair, over my hair. Shudder.


"Oh beautiful for spacious skies ..."


Also, about one minute after that photo was snapped, the penguin squirted yellow poop on Steve's hand.

It was adorable.

Because it wasn't my hand.

If you haven't visited the Aviary, you really must take the time to do it. It was eye-opening, fun, scary, terrifying, I-want-my-mommy, and educational, all at the same time.

Just watch out for that giant pigeon. I'm pretty sure it could peck the beating heart right out of your chest.


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