This week for “our Friday” we headed to Tracy Aviary. Lailah has a fascination with birds, as do I.
Every morning on our way out the door, we stop and take a moment to look to the sky, and say Hi to all those who fly over. We wave and say “have a good flight”; one of my favorite parts of the day…I will be sad when it’s cold outside again and the birds will have taken flight to warmer zip codes.
There was a lot more to see at the aviary than I remember from going as a kid. They have built many more exhibits and are in the process of building a new visitor center…good thing since the current visitor center is nothing more than a single wide trailer.
Right as we walked in we were greeted with Pelicans and various ducks, and Lailah was mesmerized. She got to watch them be fed fish and just sat there entranced. Then it was on to King Vultures and Golden Eagles, Andean Condors, Sandhill Cranes, Southern Ground Hornbills, and all sorts of other creatures. There are peafowl wondering the grounds and they walk right past you as you are walking through the park. There are also several exhibits that you enter and are right up close with the birds, they fly over your head and make all sorts of noises, it’s pretty neat. It’s much cooler when there isn’t a fence obstructing your view.
I was not only amazed at the variety of birds, but the gorgeous flowers that surround the park. There are plants I have never seen before, lots of pretty colors and interesting shapes.
This little duck seemed interested in escaping, but instead stood on tippy-toe flinging his wings with all his might while remaining completely stationary. Maybe he was just performing.
And this little duck was too cute with a little feather on his nose. Me: "Lailah, look that little duck needs to blow his nose" Lailah: demonstrating how to do so.
We tried to see a bird show, but Lailah just wanted to make friends. She thought it was pretty amazing being so close to little people. She sat with a smile on her face looking left and right at the people around her…and then started to get peeved when we wouldn’t let her mingle anymore. Talk about an independent spirit radiating from this little one, she has decided that she is her own person and quite often waves you off or blocks you with a swift arm to keep from taking her away from whatever she has her mind set on. So, we didn’t see the bird show, instead we made our way to the indoor South America exhibit where she got a snack and something to drink. It was evident she was starting to get tired and she wasn’t having as much fun as when we started; que whining, ugh. So we made our way through the rest of the park and with a cracker in each hand she seemed a bit more content. Past the Chilean flamingos and up close with the Guira Cuckoo, Scarlet Ibis and squawking Sun Conure’s we made our way out of the park.
But, not before Lailah made out like a bandit with new stuffed animals to add to her collection to include; a Downy Woodpecker, a Brown Pelican, a Snowy Owl, a Falcon, a Baby Mallard Duckling, and a Chipping Sparrow. The woodpecker, duckling and sparrow all make their cute little sounds when you give them a squeeze, and she is already learning the differences between all of them. Stuffed animals have been one of the best learning tools; she knows everything from a Zebra to an Elephant, from a Horsey to a Hamster, and she’s very choosy in the morning about which friend she is going to carry around for the day. Sometimes I take on the load of multiple creatures and a 24 pound child, arms so full I can’t see where I am going, it’s probably not really recommended, but come hell or high water Lailah insists on which guest she is going to entertain during her day – today it was her Brown Pelican. She picked him up, held him close to her neck, and patted him on the back. Priceless.