Bird Show

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you may have noticed that when I visit the Minnesota Zoo I rarely post pictures of the bird show. It’s ussually crowded and as a result I hardly ever go. Pluss it seems a little demeaning that the same birds do the same tricks each time as if they’ve been reduced from a wild animal to a pet. However, the last time I went to the zoo (July) we happened to walk past as one was going on, so we checked it out.

It’s still not my favorite part of the zoo, but seeing the children’s wonderment as parots, raptors, and other birds flew over their heads got me thinking. As an adult the show seemed a little corny, but the children were looking at life through a different lens than I was. I am fortunate to visit the zoo enough that I am able to prioritize what I do each visit, but for the kids it may have been the first time.

Also, despite seeing the same tricks each time, I have to remind myself that this isn’t just a show for the kids, they’re also learning as they watch. It might be something simple such as gettting the kids to compare wingsize or listen to the different sounds the birds make, but when it seems like it’s so hard to get kids to get out from behind a screen any bit of outdoor learning helps.

A few raptors were brought out giving the kids a chance to compare size.

A few raptors were brought out giving the kids a chance to compare size.

Lastly, I’ve heard people say they dislike zoos because the animals belong in the wild, but the MN Zoo gives animals a second chance. Some animals at the zoo would struggle in their habitat, and some of the animals don’t have enough habitat that’s suitable for them. People could argue that it’s easier to see animals’ behavior in the wild, but animals have spent so much time being hunted by humans, that seeing anything other than an animal run is rare. While it’t true the bird show isn’t my favorite activity at the zoo, I still see the benefit of it. It may be hard to see animals no longer truely wild, but it gives kids a chance to learn and see things they otherwise may not get a chance to. The bird show may not something I always think to do at the zoo, but I can still see the benefit of it, and learn something new each time I go.

Because of his color he had a hard time suviving in the wild.

Because of his color he had a hard time suviving in the wild.

Not many people get to see cranes other than the ones used for construction.

Not many people get to see cranes other than the ones used for construction.

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