Taken May 2014-Late Upload
Taken May 2014-Late Upload
In my opinion this is one of the black spots in the zoo world. It is just as prevalent if not more so among AZA accredited zoos than non-accredited. I call it the dreaded macaw on a stick. By placing them in an open setting, often with a pretty background like this, it gives the illusion of freedom. But the reality is their wings are clipped and they usually have to stay on one perch all day with nowhere to go. So in spite of the illusion, they are in truth more confined than birds even in a small cage.
I have seen many of those "macaw on a stick" exhibits. I will put up a not very good picture that shows these particular birds do have a little bit more wiggle room. They are often on the ground and in the bushes below their perches.
That may be a little better, but still not as good as a free flight aviary. Considering the popularity of macaws, I do not understand why no zoo (that I have seen) has created a massive macaw aviary. Gladys Porter Zoo has a modest one, but I do not recall seeing any others.
I would prefer them to at least be inside the small aviary when you first enter the Americans Pavilion so they could at least have some room for flight and activity.
There isn't room, TZ would not do that, and they can't fly!
At one time all TZ macaws were confiscated or surrendered birds; don't know about now.
It was just a thought, my bad. The exhibit is still better than a lot of other places.
But the reason they can't fly is because the Zoo trimmed their feathers? Or actually pinioned them... If its the former, I presume the inability to fly is only temporary until they regrow their feathers. If so, then TZ could build a decent aviary for them and allow them some flight.
I am very much in agreement, macaws on sticks are a very unattractive exhibit, when one considers that they are so stuck there. Admitteddly this island is roomier than any stick exhibit I have seen.
I have never seen this practice in New Zealand, Australia or Europe, and it is being phased out in Singapore. I was very surprised and disappointed to see that both the San Diego Zoo and Safari park had these types of exhibits. I know many zoos keep macaws in relatively small aviaries, that allow for some flight but not a lot. Fortunately, many zoos also have bird shows, where their macaws are able to fly freely.
I actually spoke to a staff member at the zoo about this last summer. All of the macaws in this exhibit are former pets. Their owners had a surgery done to them so they can no longer fly. The zoo's macaws that are still able to fly are used in the bird shows and live in a separate exhibit.
I agree that the "macaw on a stick" exhibit is one of the worst parts of modern day zoos and hopefully it will be ended soon. I would also love to see a massive macaw aviary where the birds are free to fly.
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