As the long hot days of summer drag on, our animal care staff are always looking for creative ways to keep our collection cool in the heat. In this post, we’re spotlighting the different ways our avian keepers cool off our bird collection in the summertime.
“Many birds at Nashville Zoo come from warm environments and have easily acclimated to our climate,” said Kristi Ness, lead bird keeper. “Water is often the most natural and enjoyable way for a lot of our birds to cool off, so we utilize pools, sprinklers and delicious ice treats full of natural diet items. Guests can often see our cassowary bathing in a shower and the flamingos splashing around in sprinklers.”
But what happens when you bring a bird to Nashville that is native to the arctic tundra? That was the predicament the bird department faced when we acquired two Snowy Owls in 2012.
“Adding snowy owls to our collection brought in a set of new challenges because they are so cold temperate” said Ness.
To keep the birds cool in the summer, the staff installed a window air conditioning unit into the exhibit. This unit provides a constant, cold current along the back of the exhibit where you often find the owls perched.
“These unique methods keep our Snowy Owls comfortable on the hottest of days and allows us to keep these stunning birds on exhibit year round.”
Learn more about our bird collection here.