The Cincinnati Zoo's Up-Close Bird Experience is Back After a Pandemic Hiatus

You can once again enjoy the thrill of a rhinoceros hornbill flying right above your head

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click to enlarge Get up close and personal with some of the Cincinnati Zoo's birds during the Ameritas Bird Experience - Photo: Erica J. Hill
Photo: Erica J. Hill
Get up close and personal with some of the Cincinnati Zoo's birds during the Ameritas Bird Experience

After a yearlong hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has relaunched its summertime Ameritas Bird Experience at the Wings of Wonder Theater

During the show, guests will be able to see how different bird species — including a penguin, hyacinth macaw, Abyssinian ground hornbill and bald eagle — fly, call, mimic, climb and "outsmart their trainers," says the zoo. Mammals and reptiles are also included.

“If you’re sitting in the right place, you’ll feel a breeze as the rhinoceros hornbill passes by," says Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard in a release.

click to enlarge Ori, the baby Milky Eagle Owl - Photo: DJJAM Photo
Photo: DJJAM Photo
Ori, the baby Milky Eagle Owl

Fans of Zoo Babies can also check out Ori, the new baby milky eagle owl

Although Ori is still just a tot, this quiet hunter — the largest owl in Africa — will grow rapidly, says Meredith Hughes, the Cincinnati Zoo’s curator of ambassador animals and outreach. 

In March, Ori weight 245 grams and "might be 10 times that big in a couple of months," Hughes says. "If it’s a female, it could be even bigger."

The Bird Experience takes place 1 and 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Labor Day and is included in admission.

Other popular zoo attractions and events that are back this summer include the Cheetah Encounter and Barnyard Bonanza.

Starting June 2, members will no longer need to make a reservation to visit the zoo, however, general admission tickets will still require one. And, as of June 2, masks will only be required where humans and animals are in close proximity, says the zoo. 

For more info and tickets, visit

Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine St., Avondale.

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