Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Tracy Aviary

Front entrance to the Tracy Aviary

I've never been to Salt Lake City, Utah before except while being stuck at the airport between flights. On our last layover there, I was wandering the airport killing time and saw a tourist information sign all about SLC. Well, whaddya know - it turns out they've got an aviary! I tucked that little bit of information into a corner of my brain and continued on with our trip.

A little less than a year later, we had the chance to visit Salt Lake City and the Tracy Aviary was tops on my list of places I wanted to check out while we were there. As it turns out, I'm glad we did. It is an excellent aviary with a nice assortment of indoor and outdoor exhibits and a good variety of birds.

Many of the birds that stop over at the Great Salt Lake during migration fly all the way to Central and even South America. The Aviary has a number of exhibits that display the indigenous birds these migratory birds might see during their sojourn in the south, including Andean condors, Chilean flamingos, and toucans. One exhibit that really caught my attention was the common backyard birds of Argentina. Imagine getting guira cuckoos and southern lapwings in your yard!

Southern lapwings soaking up the northern sun. They are members of the Plover family.

Of course the Aviary had plenty of exhibits devoted to species of birds found in Utah, including hawks and owls, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a lot of good blog-worthy photos because my camera couldn't focus past the mesh or fencing around many of the exhibits. This is one of the frustrating things I find at zoos and aviaries. Nevertheless, if I were to visit Salt Lake City again I would certainly return to the Tracy Aviary.

A golden eagle giving me the eye.

The incredibly beautiful iridescence on the white-faced ibis more than makes up for the lack of a white-face on this non-breeding individual.

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