North American Kestrel

Falco sparverius Order: Falconiformes Family: Falconidae Overview Males are easily distinguished from females by their size (males are smaller) and their slate blue wings (females have brown wings). Kestrels possess a pair of false eye spots, or ocelli, on the nape of their neck. These dark circles are thought to be a form of protective…

Winter 2021

Download Winter 2021 (01-11-2021) newsletter This issue includes: AASAG Committee Updates AASAG Communications Committee Update: 2020 Ambassador Animal Collections Survey Results AASAG Best Practices Initiative Update AASAG Professional Development and Research Initiatives Update Articles Socially Distanced Guest Engagement in the Time of COVID-19 SHOW AND TAIL: To Every Animal, There is a Season (Barn Owl)…

Budgie (Budgerigar)

Budgie (Budgerigar) Latin Name: Melopsittacus undulatus Order: Psittaciformes Family: Psittacidae Overview  Budgies are a charismatic ambassador species due to their outgoing nature. They can be kept as ambassadors either in large walk-through aviaries, where flock size may range in the hundreds, or in a smaller setting as a single bird/pair/small group. Budgies are highly gregarious, and…

Tawny Frogmouth

Podargus strigoides Order: Caprimulgiformes Family: Podargidae Overview Tawny frogmouths are unusual, charismatic birds that will engage the audience at first sight.  Though common throughout most of Australia and Tasmania, most American zoo audiences will not be familiar with the frogmouth and will be thirsty for information.  Ambassador tawny frogmouths can be trained to sit calmly…

Eurasian Collared Dove

Common Name: Eurasian Collared Dove Latin Name: Streptopelia decaocto Order: Columbiformes Family:Columbidae Overview Originally a wild species found across northern Asia and Europe, the Eurasian collared dove is now kept as a pet in many other parts of the world. It’s call is very similar to the North American mourning dove. The body is of…

Fall 2020

Download Fall 2021 (09-28-2020) newsletter This issue includes: Articles AMBASSADORS IN ACTION: A Giant Rabbit with a Giant Notion (Domestic Rabbit) SHOW AND TAIL: Extreme Monotremes (Echidna) AMBASSADORS IN ACTION: The Swallow-tailed Kite SPECIES SPOTLIGHT: Frilled Lizard (Frilled Dragon) SPECIES SPOTLIGHT: Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula SHOW AND TAIL: From Bug in a Box to Out…

Eurasian Eagle Owl

Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo Order: Strigiformes Family: Strigidae (typical owls) This species is the largest of the Eagle Owls, and largest owl in the world.  Overview This impressive bird is the largest species of owl in the world. Many facilities present this animal both on the glove or in free-flight shows, and it is…

spring 2020

Download Spring 2020 (04-17-2020) newsletter This issue includes: Ambassador Animal Acquisition AMBASSADORS IN ACTION: Individualization in our Ambassador Animals: A Goat isn’t Just a Goat Page SHOW AND TAIL: A Flocking Good Time (Chilean flamingo) AMBASSADORS IN ACTION: Heroes Arrive at Point Definance Zoo & Aquarium (African giant pouched rats) RESEARCH CORNER: Impact of a…

Ring-necked Pheasant

With plenty of topics to address during programs and a flashy appearance, the Ring-necked Pheasant can be a good addition to an education team. Staff does need to consider lack of motivation during breeding season when planning out program needs.

Laughing Kookaburra

Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae Order: Coraciiformes Family: Alcedinidae  Overview Laughing kookaburras are the largest member of the kingfisher family and are a dynamic species that can be presented in a variety of educational forums. They have several natural behaviors that can be demonstrated during programming, including flight, calling, and prey stunning. The laughing kookaburra SSP…