Encounters

​​​​​​​ ​​​​Experience an extravaganza of showy feathers, explosive color and amusing antics when you visit Flights of Fancy: A Brilliance of Birds. These five aviaries are home to hundreds of exotic birds. Enjoy interactive feedings at two designated stations and meet these colorful and curious birds up close for an amazing experience you'll always remember! These beautiful birds in this exhibit come from warmer climates, like Africa, South America, Asia and Australia, and for their comfort, many of the species spend the winter months inside their climate-controlled off-exhibit area. However, the flamingos and the southern ground hornbills will be on exhibit in the winter as weather permits.

Budgerigar

1-3-2 Budgies-Geoff Chen Photography.jpgAverage size: Grow to 7 inches in length, weigh about 1.05 ounces
Average lifespan: 15 years
Key physical characteristics: Mix of colorful shades of blue, green and yellow
Native regions/habitat range: Australian desert, scrublands, and woodlands
Eating habits: Seeds, grains, small plants, fruits and vegetables
Conservation status: Least concern 
Fun facts: Budgies are extremely social birds. They can live in groups of up to thousands! They're also common house pets.

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Cabot's Tragopan

1-3-2 Cabot Tragopan-Erin Brown.jpgAverage size: They grow to be about 2 feet in length
Average lifespan: 15-18 years
Key physical characteristics: These wild birds have a bright orange and black face with a speckled black, red and white body.
Native regions/habitat range: Evergreen forests in China
Eating habits: Leaves, fruits and seeds
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Fun facts: To attract a female during courtship, the male flashes his colorful wing linings and inflates the bright-colored wattles on his head and throat.​

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Cockatiel

1-3-2 Cockatiel eating.jpgAverage size: Grow to 12.8 inches in length and weigh about 3 ouncesAverage lifespan: 16 years
Key physical characteristics: Erectable yellow crest and long tail feathers
Native regions/habitats: Australian wetlands
Eating habits: Seeds, grains, and insects
Conservation status: Least concern
Fun facts: They are the smallest type of cockatoo and they nest in tree holes. Cockatiels are also common house pets.

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Crested Coua

1-3-2 Crested coua-Jon Glesing.jpgAverage size: 18-24 inches long
Average life span: 15 years
Key physical characteristics: These birdies are well known for the bullseye-like markings on the inside of their mouths. 
Native regions/habitat range: Forests, savannas, and brushlands in Madagascar, Africa
Eating habits: Insects and fruit
Conservation status: Least concern
Fun facts: Females usually lay two eggs in a nest made of twigs.

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Crested Wood Partridge

1-3-2 Wood Partridge by Joel Sartore.jpgAverage size: Grow up to 10 inches
Average lifespan: 10-12 years
Key physical characteristics: These birds are plump with a small head. Males have bluish-purple feathers as well as a large red crest on the head, which gives the species its name. Females have green feathers and lack a crest. 
Native regions/habitat range: Southeast Asia in tropical rain forests
Eating habits: Leaves and grains
Conservation status: Near threatened due to habitat loss
Fun facts: Crested wood partridges live in groups of up to 15 birds. Parents will raise four to eight chicks together. If the brood is larger, the parents will raise half of the group separately.

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Flamingos

1-3-2 Flamingo preening-Shannon Gaughan-Kelly.jpgAve​rage size: Grow up to 51 inches tall and weigh up to 7 pounds
Average lifespan: 30 years
Key physical characteristics: Caribbean flamingos are a bright pink or salmon color and Chileans are a pale pink with bright tips on their feathers. 
Native regions/habitat range: Caribbean flamingos are native to the Caribbean and Galapagos regions and Chileans are native to South America; inhabiting shallow wetlands and lagoons.
Eating habits: Flamingos typically eat shrimp or small fish. Their bright pink color is the result of eating shrimp. 
Conservation status: Caribbeans are least concern; Chileans are near threatened
Fun facts: You will often find our flamingos marching outside their exhibit during their Flamingo Mingle!
Who's at the Zoo: Caribbean flamingos and Chilean flamingos

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Helmeted Guinea Fowl

1-3-2 Guinea fowl-Fred Cate.jpgAverage size: Grow to 20 inches in length and weigh about 3 pounds
Average lifespan: 6 years
Key physical characteristics: They have a wattle on each side of their beak and a horny "helmet" on top of their head. They also have a bead-like design on their feathers that consist of white dots on a darker background.
Native regions/habitat range: Africa
Eating habits: Insects, seeds and berries
Conservation status: Least concern
Fun facts: Although helmeted guinea fowl have the ability to fly, they prefer to spend their time on the ground.

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Hornbills

1-3-2 Southern ground hornbill4-Mark Kaser.jpgAverage size: Grow up to 33 inches tall and weigh up to 13 pounds
Average lifespan: Up to 50 years
Key physical characteristics: Large, curved bills, long eyelashes, and dark eyes
Native regions/habitats: Philippines, India, Africa, China, Southeast Asia, and Indonesia in forests, scrubland, and savanna
Eating habits: Fruit and insects
Conservation status: Southern ground hornbills are vulnerable, Eastern yellow hornbills are stable
Fun facts: These carnivorous birds have super strong beaks that help them bore into the ground, logs and other objects to find food. Eastern yellow hornbills team up with mongooses to gather food!
Who's at the Zoo:  Eastern yellow-billed hornbill and Southern ground hornbill

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Lories & Lorikeets

1-3-2 Rainbow Lorikeet (2) by Joel Sartore.jpgAverage size: 6 to 15 inches (15 to 38 centimeters), depending on species, weigh 0.7 to 10 ounces (20 to 280 grams), depending on species
Average lifespan: 10-15 years
Key physical characteristics: Colorful, small, brush-like tongued birds
Native regions/habitat range: South Pacific, including Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia
Eating habits: Lories can spread their brush-like tongues to allow them to feed on nectar.
Conservation status: Threatened
Fun facts: Lories and lorikeets have adapted to tolerate hot and cold temperatures. There are more than 50 different species.
Who's at the Zoo: Red lory, rainbow lorikeet, Rosenberg's lorikeet, Australian rainbow lorikeet, black-capped lory and Eastern black-capped lory

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Parrots

1-3-2 Ruby Scarlet Macaw2-Melanie Laurendine.jpgAverage size: ​Parrots can grow between 11.8 inches and 39.5 inches including their tail feathers and weigh up to 3.75 pounds. The Hyacinth macaw is the largest of all parrots with a wingspan of up to 5 feet.
Average lifespan: Up to 75 years
Key physical characteristics: These colorful birds are sure to amaze you with vibrant streams of feathers, including shades of red, yellow, green and blue! They have large, strong beaks.
Native regions/habitat range: Rain forests and grasslands in Central and South America, Mexico, Indonesia and Australia
Eating habits: Fruits, nuts, seeds and insects
Conservation status: Least concern to endangered, depending on species
Fun facts: Baby chicks have no feathers and closed eyes when they hatch. Parrots are also known for their wide range of vocalizations, which they use to communicate within the flock, mark territory, and identify one another.
Who's at the Zoo: Scarlet macaw, hyacinth macaw, yellow-headed Amazon and white cockatoo. Though these birds are not regularly on exhibit, you can see parrots at the Indianapolis Zoo during our Parrot Chats. These chats are seasonal and subject to change.​

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Superb Starling

1-3-2 Superb starling-Geoff Chen Photography.jpgAverage size: Grow to 7 inches in length
Average lifespan: 15 years
Key physical characteristics: Very colorful birds with a black head, blue backs, and reddish brown. Their feathers have an iridescent sheen that stands out in bright sunlight.
Native regions/habitat range: Woodlands, thorn bush and agricultural fields in Northeast Africa
Eating habits: They eat insects, seeds and fruit.
Conservation status: Least concern
Fun facts: Superb starlings' eggs hatch in just 13-15 days!​

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Taveta Golden Weaver

1-3-2 Taveta weaver-Fred Cate.jpgAverage size: Grow to 5.5 inches in length
Average lifespan: Up to 20 years
Key physical characteristics: Taveta golden weavers are bright yellow in color, with a reddish orange patch on the back of their heads
Native regions/habitat range: East Africa, Kenya and Tanzania
Eating habits: Mostly seeds and some grass
Conservation status: Least concern
Fun facts: These birds tend to breed in colonies. As their name suggests, these birds are known for their spectacular nest-building skills. Sometimes they will fill an entire tree with nests.​

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White-Cheeked Turaco

1-3-2 White-cheeked turaco2-Geoff Chen Photography.jpgAverage size: Grow to 15.5 inches in length
Average lifespan: 10-12 years
Key physical characteristics: ​White-cheeked turacos have ​rominent red eyerings, a bright orange bill, the majority of the top third of their bodies are green and the bottom two-thirds are dull and dark.
Native regions/habitat range: African forest tops and woodland valleys
Eating habits: Fruits, berries and occasionally insects
Conservation status: Least concern​
Fun facts: Its tail makes up 50 percent of its body length!

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