Zoo Atlanta will close early on Sat., May 25 for Brew at the Zoo. Gates will close at 1:30 p.m. and grounds will close at 3 p.m. 

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Winterizing for birds

It’s hard to believe that October is almost over! Fall is here, and not only are the leaves starting to fall, but it also starts getting colder and the days are shorter. This means it’s time for the Bird Team to start thinking about winter! We are already preparing for the cold.

In the Bird Department we call this time of year “winterizing.” A lot of our bird species here are cold-tolerant, but some of them aren’t. Winterizing means that we are scrubbing indoor areas, shoveling out old sand and wood shavings, and bringing in new materials. We are hanging heat lamps out in the habitats and the birds’ indoor areas, as well as laying down heating mats. You may even run into some of us carrying long branches on our way to add new perching as well. However, getting all the habitats and indoor shelters prepped in this manner is just step one.

The next steps are ensuring that we can bring birds inside to the heat, especially for those cold nights. The best way to help motivate birds to shift to where you want them to go is by offering some or all their food there. We have been starting to offer a lot of the food we give to our birds indoors, even now. This process of getting birds used to coming inside on their own can take a while, so that is why we start so early.

Even though most of the work is done behind the scenes, in the coming months as it gets colder you now have an idea on how the birds stay warm. You may even see some of them nestled up near a heat lamp, which is very cute if I do say so myself.
Amanda Johnson
Keeper I, Birds

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