Refreshing Wings of the World to Connect Families to Nature through Birds

Posted January 4, 2018
Wings of the World sign (Photo: DJJAM)
Wings of the World sign (Photo: DJJAM)

If you’ve been to the Zoo recently, you may have noticed that the Wings of the World building is closed for renovation. When the building reopens this spring, guests will enjoy a new and improved experience and an enhanced opportunity to connect to nature through birds. During renovation, we’ll refinish the walls and floors, upgrade the ventilation systems and install new lighting. While we’ll maintain habitats for a wide variety of birds from around the world, the signage and interactive elements, designed to engage guests of all ages in learning about birds and how to become better bird neighbors, will be all new.

Renovation in progress (Photo: Shasta Bray)
Renovation in progress (Photo: Shasta Bray)
Our prototype for the "Guess Who?" game has been a hit with guests! (Photo: Shasta Bray)
Our prototype for the “Guess Who?” game has been a hit with guests! (Photo: Shasta Bray)
A sample of our new signage

What can you expect when Wings of the World reopens? As you meander through the building, which maintains two open-air mixed-species aviaries and half a dozen other bird habitats, you’ll observe an amazing diversity of birds from across the globe while making connections to our own native bird species. Closer, active observation is encouraged through fun, colorful signage that provides bird-watching tips and seek-and-find opportunities for younger guests, in particular. You can even practice your own bird identification skills by playing “Guess Who? Name that Cincinnati Bird”, which is based on the popular “Guess Who?” board game.

You’ll also be invited to “Play the Migration Game” during which your family, or group, will role play as a flock of migrating birds facing challenges along the way. Each challenge focuses on a threat birds face during migration and shares ways you can make this journey easier for birds. At the end of your successful migration, your flock can celebrate by snapping and sharing photos of yourselves inside a bird nest. During peak season, volunteer interpreters will be on hand to facilitate these activities.

Throughout the building, you’ll learn more about ways you can help birds such as making your spaces bird-friendly places, choosing shade-grown coffee that protects bird habitat, and making smart energy choices to curb climate change. You’ll learn about the Zoo’s support of marine bird conservation through SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) and how you can contribute your own bird observations to citizen science projects. And you’ll be invited to #JointheFlock by pledging to take a particular action on behalf of birds. This is integrated into a fun photo opportunity just before exiting the building.

As you stroll down the boardwalk leading away from Wings of the World, we hope you are inspired to pay closer attention to the birds around you and become better bird neighbors!

“No other creature can transcend earth, evoke beauty, inspire dreams, and ground us in nature as does even the smallest bird.” Julie Sacco, Director, North Park Village Nature Center, Chicago, IL

Visit us this spring to see all your favorite birds, from parrots to penguins, in a whole new light! This renovation was made possible in part from a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.