The eagerness of brilliantly hued lorikeets as they stretch their necks to reach nectar. Long, curly eyelashes that lend a touch of flirtatiousness to the otherwise formidable southern ground hornbill, a 13-pound meat-eater that uses its enormous beak to skewer prey.
These are the kinds of things you notice when you’re nose-to-beak with 20 species of birds at the Indianapolis Zoo’s new Flights of Fancy: A Brilliance of Birds. This permanent exhibit, which opens on Saturday, May 26, is a chance to get closer to these exotic animals than you’ve probably ever been.
Of all the members of the animal kingdom, there’s something especially compelling about birds, says Dan Boritt, manager of the Flights of Fancy area. “They do something which is so unfathomable to us, which is fly,” he says. “There’s a reason kids love the idea of jet packs, and then birds do it effortlessly. They’re magical, they’re whimsical, and people get that.”
The avian tour includes lorikeets, budgies, taveta golden weavers, superb starlings, helmeted guineafowl, white-cheeked turacos, Chilean flamingos, and more.
Photos via Indianapolis Zoo