• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

I got to pet a Penguin! :)

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
9/16/13
Messages
27,046
Location
Pennsylvania
Real Name
Michelle
For my fiance's niece's Christmas present, I got her a "penguin encounter" at the National Aviary. Because of Covid, we couldn't go at Christmas and finally went this weekend. Children have to go with an adult. So I "had" to go with her. LOL. (I might have been more excited to go than she was. :D). Up to eight people can be at an encounter. Our niece was the only child there! It was all adults. So I felt better that I wasn't the only adult who really wanted to pet a penguin. We met Sunshine, an African penguin. The trainer spoke for about 20 minutes about penguins while the penguin walked around the room. And then everyone had the chance to have their picture taken with Sunshine and pet her. It was very cool. She actually has very soft feathers. I wasn't expecting that. Definitely a cool experience and one I recommend if anyone is visiting Pittsburgh or lives in the area. (The encounters have to be booked in advance.)
 

Sunni Tiel

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
1/18/21
Messages
1,183
Location
Missouri
Real Name
Rachel
So cool! Was it smelly? I went to an aquarium once that had penguins behind glass and it STINKS. I couldn't handle it and had to leave lol. :wtf:

It'd be totally worth it if I could touch one though!
 

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
9/16/13
Messages
27,046
Location
Pennsylvania
Real Name
Michelle
So cool! Was it smelly? I went to an aquarium once that had penguins behind glass and it STINKS. I couldn't handle it and had to leave lol. :wtf:

It'd be totally worth it if I could touch one though!
The penguin was not smelly at all but I agree the penguin enclosure itself does smell like fish. Our encounter was in a room though. So no fish smell. :)
 

Toy

Jogging around the block
Avenue Veteran
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/14/10
Messages
934
Location
PA
How cool was that :). I got to see penguins in Sea World Ohio years ago. Yep they smell like fish. They were behind glass, so no one could touch them. They had several different species, including the large Emperor Penguins.

Years ago (late 70's) I was at Disney World. They had a parrot show on Discovery Island. Discovery Island no longer exists. Anyway they laid a Moluccan Cockatoo in my hands. At Sea World in FL I got to feed sting rays & dolphins. Fast forward to mid-80's & I got to see Panda Bears at the Bronx Zoo in NYC. I pet a elephant at a circus. Sadly I could feel it's depression. I helped band hummingbirds a few years ago. One of the neatest things I get to do each year is handle Purple Martin chicks. My colony has gotten smaller over the years. Martin Landlords do nest checks for eggs, chicks, etc. Last year I had one that had a ruptured air sac. I had to treat it several times before it was OK. I've also held the adults.

My dream would have been to do a photo safari in Africa. Sadly health issues no longer allow that. The point being....get out & see & do as much as you can while you can. Put down the cell phone & take in nature. Get out & enjoy it while you can. Oh one more....Giant Sequoia trees. OMG they are amazing. So tall & wide yo get dizzy trying to see the top. I stood inside one.
 

Zara

❀♡ My birds are responsible for 99% of my typos ♡❀
Super Moderator
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Avenue Concierge
Joined
1/8/18
Messages
26,953
Location
Reino de España
Ooooh so cool! I bet your neice was having a great time too! How fun :)

Was it smelly? I went to an aquarium once that had penguins behind glass and it STINKS. I couldn't handle it and had to leave lol. :wtf:
At least we´re all wearing masks these days :lol:

I fed penguins fish, but never got to touch them (it was outdoors) . My local marine zoo does penguin feeding (they´re behind glass), I don´t know if you can touch them there or not, I have a discout there but I´ve never done it. Maybe I´ll take my nephew when he´s here next :)
 

Gigibirds

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
2/15/21
Messages
1,035
Ohhhh awesome! I once went to a zoo in Oregon(? I think) and I pet a Lynx and a baby Black Bear!!!! Also some Kangaroos, Wallabies, Emus, Peacocks and Rainbow Lorikeets! It was amazing!!! I also once went to Bali, Indonesia and we got to ride elephants, and sit on them while they swam in a lake!!!! And there was also an awesome bird park there where you could touch all of their Macaws, Cockatoos, Eclectus parrots, etc. I love going to the parks/zoos where you can actually interact with animals! It's so much fun!

I was going to ask if the penguin was smelly, but you already said it wasn't! It's interesting that they live in a smelly enclosure, eat smelly food, but smell fine! I wonder if they gave it a bath or something before you pet it......Also did your fiance's niece like it?
 

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
9/16/13
Messages
27,046
Location
Pennsylvania
Real Name
Michelle
How cool was that :). I got to see penguins in Sea World Ohio years ago. Yep they smell like fish. They were behind glass, so no one could touch them. They had several different species, including the large Emperor Penguins.

Years ago (late 70's) I was at Disney World. They had a parrot show on Discovery Island. Discovery Island no longer exists. Anyway they laid a Moluccan Cockatoo in my hands. At Sea World in FL I got to feed sting rays & dolphins. Fast forward to mid-80's & I got to see Panda Bears at the Bronx Zoo in NYC. I pet a elephant at a circus. Sadly I could feel it's depression. I helped band hummingbirds a few years ago. One of the neatest things I get to do each year is handle Purple Martin chicks. My colony has gotten smaller over the years. Martin Landlords do nest checks for eggs, chicks, etc. Last year I had one that had a ruptured air sac. I had to treat it several times before it was OK. I've also held the adults.

My dream would have been to do a photo safari in Africa. Sadly health issues no longer allow that. The point being....get out & see & do as much as you can while you can. Put down the cell phone & take in nature. Get out & enjoy it while you can. Oh one more....Giant Sequoia trees. OMG they are amazing. So tall & wide yo get dizzy trying to see the top. I stood inside one.
I agree. We should do as much as we can. I don't know if I would have done the encounter if I didn't have the niece with me because I thought they were more for youngsters. Now that I've gone to one and saw that it was all adults, I want to try to go to more. They also have flamingo, owl, and falcon encounters. And I think one more.... I'm drawing a blank.

I always wanted to feed dolphins. That's so cool you got too. And how do you even band hummingbirds? They're so tiny. You definitely have done some really interesting things. :)
 

Greylady1966

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
3/6/19
Messages
2,223
Location
midwest
Real Name
Carol
I can't remember what zoo it was but I watched some videos on the penguins that they let walk around inside because the zoo was closed due to covid. It was so funny watching them get off an elevator. They are adorable. I'm glad you had a wonderful experience.
 

rockoko

Squawk and Meow!
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
10/16/09
Messages
39,672
Location
NY
Real Name
Martine
Ohhhh so cool! :starshower1:
 

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
9/16/13
Messages
27,046
Location
Pennsylvania
Real Name
Michelle
Ohhhh awesome! I once went to a zoo in Oregon(? I think) and I pet a Lynx and a baby Black Bear!!!! Also some Kangaroos, Wallabies, Emus, Peacocks and Rainbow Lorikeets! It was amazing!!! I also once went to Bali, Indonesia and we got to ride elephants, and sit on them while they swam in a lake!!!! And there was also an awesome bird park there where you could touch all of their Macaws, Cockatoos, Eclectus parrots, etc. I love going to the parks/zoos where you can actually interact with animals! It's so much fun!

I was going to ask if the penguin was smelly, but you already said it wasn't! It's interesting that they live in a smelly enclosure, eat smelly food, but smell fine! I wonder if they gave it a bath or something before you pet it......Also did your fiance's niece like it?
Wow- that's amazing that you've done all that. :)

The penguins have an outdoor enclosure where we were but it has plexiglass around it. I just assumed that from feeding fish everyday that the fish smell lingered. We were in a fairly small room with the penguin for over a half an hour and I didn't smell fish in the room. They definitely didn't bathe him because the trainer talked about how he has trained Sunshine that when he calls for him, he comes to him for the encounters. And he said that when he went to get him, Sunshine had been swimming and was all wet when he brought him in and had to be toweled down. So he was dried off, but not bathed.

Yes, the niece did like it. I try to always do something with her for Christmas/birthday instead of just buying her things. Now that we did that one, I might see if she wants to do a different animal encounter for her birthday.
 

Toy

Jogging around the block
Avenue Veteran
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/14/10
Messages
934
Location
PA
I agree. We should do as much as we can. I don't know if I would have done the encounter if I didn't have the niece with me because I thought they were more for youngsters. Now that I've gone to one and saw that it was all adults, I want to try to go to more. They also have flamingo, owl, and falcon encounters. And I think one more.... I'm drawing a blank.

I always wanted to feed dolphins. That's so cool you got too. And how do you even band hummingbirds? They're so tiny. You definitely have done some really interesting things. :)
They catch the hummingbird in a special cage that surrounds a feeder. It's rigged with a draw string/trap door. Then they put them in a mesh bag & hang them from a wire to keep them suspended. The bander then removes it from the mesh bag & places it in a special sock (think burrito wrap) made from ladies nylons. He weights, measures beak, tail, body, wing spread, etc. & records it all in a book. I got to help, because his normal helper didn't show up. The bands are very tiny. He had to remove one band, as it was damaged. He had me hold the hummingbird while he took it off, so as not to break it's tiny leg & then replaced it with a new one. They go into a stuper & just sit there. If one passes out he sticks it's beak in hummingbird food to wake it up & get it going. Then they set it in your flat open hand, you can feel it's heart beating, touch it's back or blow on it & off it goes. Here's a couple photos...One in the sock wrap, 2 of me letting them go. One is a juvenile male the other an adult male...Ruby Throat.
IMG_4654 Banding Hummingbirds.jpg

IMG_4890 Banding Hummingbirds.jpg

IMG_4986 Banding Hummingbirds Male Rubythroat.jpg
 

Toy

Jogging around the block
Avenue Veteran
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/14/10
Messages
934
Location
PA
Ohhhh awesome! I once went to a zoo in Oregon(? I think) and I pet a Lynx and a baby Black Bear!!!! Also some Kangaroos, Wallabies, Emus, Peacocks and Rainbow Lorikeets! It was amazing!!! I also once went to Bali, Indonesia and we got to ride elephants, and sit on them while they swam in a lake!!!! And there was also an awesome bird park there where you could touch all of their Macaws, Cockatoos, Eclectus parrots, etc. I love going to the parks/zoos where you can actually interact with animals! It's so much fun!

I was going to ask if the penguin was smelly, but you already said it wasn't! It's interesting that they live in a smelly enclosure, eat smelly food, but smell fine! I wonder if they gave it a bath or something before you pet it......Also did your fiance's niece like it?
On man I would have loved all that. I missed my chance to ride an elephant at the Bronx Zoo.
 

SeñorBirb

Sprinting down the street
Joined
3/15/21
Messages
440
Real Name
Ella
I went there last summer! It was so cool. I also got to pet a penguin, it tried to chew on my hoodie string lol.

Random story time: One time, my family went to a drive-through zoo (Olympic Game Farm) where you feed the animals loaves of bread, it was... an interesting experience. All I really remember was that the bison were terrifying, and the small deer would run alongside your car.
 

Cat G

Meeting neighbors
Joined
3/9/21
Messages
41
Oh my god! That's awesome! Might have to plan a trip to Pittsburgh when we can. My son would flip his lid. He wants to be a zookeeper that looks after penguins when he grows up.
 

Sunni Tiel

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
1/18/21
Messages
1,183
Location
Missouri
Real Name
Rachel
They catch the hummingbird in a special cage that surrounds a feeder. It's rigged with a draw string/trap door. Then they put them in a mesh bag & hang them from a wire to keep them suspended. The bander then removes it from the mesh bag & places it in a special sock (think burrito wrap) made from ladies nylons. He weights, measures beak, tail, body, wing spread, etc. & records it all in a book. I got to help, because his normal helper didn't show up. The bands are very tiny. He had to remove one band, as it was damaged. He had me hold the hummingbird while he took it off, so as not to break it's tiny leg & then replaced it with a new one. They go into a stuper & just sit there. If one passes out he sticks it's beak in hummingbird food to wake it up & get it going. Then they set it in your flat open hand, you can feel it's heart beating, touch it's back or blow on it & off it goes. Here's a couple photos...One in the sock wrap, 2 of me letting them go. One is a juvenile male the other an adult male...Ruby Throat.
View attachment 379725

View attachment 379727

View attachment 379728
Oh wow those hummingbirds are so tiny!! I'd be so scared of squishing it!
 

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
9/16/13
Messages
27,046
Location
Pennsylvania
Real Name
Michelle
They catch the hummingbird in a special cage that surrounds a feeder. It's rigged with a draw string/trap door. Then they put them in a mesh bag & hang them from a wire to keep them suspended. The bander then removes it from the mesh bag & places it in a special sock (think burrito wrap) made from ladies nylons. He weights, measures beak, tail, body, wing spread, etc. & records it all in a book. I got to help, because his normal helper didn't show up. The bands are very tiny. He had to remove one band, as it was damaged. He had me hold the hummingbird while he took it off, so as not to break it's tiny leg & then replaced it with a new one. They go into a stuper & just sit there. If one passes out he sticks it's beak in hummingbird food to wake it up & get it going. Then they set it in your flat open hand, you can feel it's heart beating, touch it's back or blow on it & off it goes. Here's a couple photos...One in the sock wrap, 2 of me letting them go. One is a juvenile male the other an adult male...Ruby Throat.
View attachment 379725

View attachment 379727

View attachment 379728
That's amazing. :) So great that you got to do that. Hummingbirds are definitely one of my favorite wild birds. They're just so adorable.
 
Top