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Birds from the National Aviary

Last week, I visited the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.  I really enjoyed all of the birds and even got to feed grubs and fish to some.  I loved tossing little fish into the pelicans’ gaping mouths!  I thought I’d share a few pictures just for fun.

This Brown Pelican was jolly. He caught most of the fish I tossed!

The Cut-throat finch may be aptly named, but I doubt he could wield a knife.

I missed this fellow’s name but appreciated his stance.

As I looked at the birds in the aviary, I couldn’t help but think, “Oh, eumelanin and phenomelanin, restrictors and enhancers.”

I remembered that blue is caused by light refracting small air pockets in a structure containing eumelanin.

I recalled how the pink of flamingos comes directly from the carotenoids in their food.

Carotenoids also make a bright yellow.

Greens are a combination of the eumelanin structure of blue and yellow carotenoids.  Some reds are carotenoids, and others are created from amino acids into porphyrins.

I discussed feather colors in GMS7: Plumage Pigments.  A great article discussing these colors can be found here.

I found that I enjoyed the aviary much more than I would have years ago.  Simply because of my experiences with chickens, I felt a closer connection to the birds, more familiar with their rhythms.  These birds, in turn, reminded me to appreciate the bird-ness of my chickens.

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7 thoughts on “Birds from the National Aviary

  1. so beautiful 🙂 thank you for sharing. I’m visiting from Sunday Best. hope you have a happy week. I think is sweet that you care about the birdness of your chickens 🙂 xxo

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