Friday, May 20, 2011

Guest Blogger: Stella Speaks (Well, Honks) Out

Dear Blogfans,

In case you don't already know me, I'm Stella, the Abyssinian ground hornbill who is the star of the shows at  Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

I'm addressing you, the fans, because it has come to my attention that a certain canine from the zoo has expressed some of his sentiments publicly in the post here. Now folks, I know how you humans love a good dog. I have no beef (or chicken) with that. But let's get one thing straight: birds are awesome.

Who isn't fascinated by the anatomy of a feather or moved by a soaring eagle? When visitors come to the zoo they ask "What time is the bird show?" No one asks, "What time is the dog show?" Well, before Herald they didn't.

Specifically, I want to point out that Herald's comment regarding the "bird brains" at PDZA's theater was out of line. We birds get a bad reputation because of a few bad eggs. Really though, some of us are pretty intelligent. Not to honk my own horn, but...I knew how to fetch and retrieve before this little puppy was weaned.

Sure, Herald might do some flashy stunts like this one:


Then again, Herald also has the attention of professional animal handlers ALL DAY. Of course he picked up a few things. Now that I'm a seasoned performer, I like to just perch around and play with enrichments in my house. As for some of the other birds at the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater, they aren't all just pretty faces.

The green-wing macaws can perform a wide variety of behaviors, including the classy wing extension being trained here:

These parrots have also coordinated fundraising for conservation through Point Defiance's Wildlife Conservation fund and collected over $17,000! That's nothing to turn your beak up at.


And you have to admit that the crowd goes wild when they see birds like this in the program:



I don't have any hard feelings toward Herald the dog; as mammals go, he's not half bad. But hopefully he'll think twice before insulting avian intelligence again. Let's give credit where credit is due--it's a good thing to be a bird brain!

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