Monday, September 15, 2014

Winged Encounters: 'Edutainment' at it's Best

This past month we at Jambo Everyone got out first glimpse of Winged Encounters. This little show debuted a few months ago and its still trying to figure out its place I think. First of all, its not on the entertainment schedule. I don't know if this is by design or not, because part of the fun is being surprised at all of a sudden seeing a flock of macaws flying over your head squawking.

The sounds of macaws overhead signals the start of Winged Encounters

At the time we were there, the show typically was performed at 10:30, 11:30, 1:30 and 2:30. If you are anywhere near Flame Tree BBQ, you will hear the macaws coming as they land on a perch en mass. At that point, several trainers are there to feed the birds although one has a mic and gives a brief talk about the macaws and their plight - specifically how they are endangered and what the pet trade has done to the species. They also ask that any use of the show on social media gets the hash tag "disneywingsforwildlife" so check that out to see lots of pics. To be honest, we will be putting several videos of it on our youtube channel, as well.

some of the cast like to make a stop or two before the show starts

As a said before, this is a flock. There are probably 20 or so birds of several different species of macaw - blue and gold, scarlet, green winged, military, blue-throated, and hyacinth. Each type is more impressive than the next. The expert will point out each type to you during the course of her talk. In fact, they tend to point specific birds, like Beta the hyacinth, which are the largest kind of macaw.

Blue-Throated Macaw

The most impressive parts of the show are probably arrival and departure. It is a wonder to be wandering the park and all of sudden over your head comes the flock. It truly makes you feel as if you have transported somewhere else. You don't necessarily have to be near Flame Tree to see them. At one point, we were crossing the bridge from Asia to Discovery Island and caught sight of the macaws. Apparently, they begin their flight not from from Harambe and make an almost half lap around Discovery Island.

a nice award for a great show!

Departure is also terrific though a lot easier to see. If you are at the show, the trainers will tell you exactly where to stand to get the best pictures. I got lucky one morning rounding the bend to head to Dinoland USA when I was confronted with flock heading right at me. And remember the birds have their own minds. One day they had a heck of time getting two birds back where they belonged. Trainers were walking all around Flame Tree BBQ trying to get the macaws to head back home.

an endangered Red-fronted Macaw

In the end, this is a fantastic addition to the park. Its not a major event, as it is only about 5 minutes in duration. However, it is impressive in its own right. As with so many great things as this park, it comes with an important message - edutainment at its best.

by Safari Mike (@JamboEveryone)

No comments:

Post a Comment