Flock to the Aquarium's New Animal Encounter, Bird Buffs

Arrive before the Aquarium of the Pacific opens for the day and watch, from up-close, a feather-fun training session.

Aquarium of the Pacific

What to Know

  • Animal Encounters: Feathered Friends
  • Daily at 8:30 a.m., before the Long Beach-based aquarium opens
  • $150 per person

Antics? Animals of all sorts can engage in them, at least from a human's viewpoint.

A dog can chase his tail, a cat can comically knock items off a table, and the critters in the wilderness can romp and tumble in ways that make us laugh.

But few non-people summon the smiles, antics-wise, like birds. They're natural charmers, and often funny, and the opportunity to spend some up-close time with a bird that serves an important public role is a rare one.

Lucky for bird buffs, though, that can now happen, thanks to a brand-new program at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

Animal Encounters: Feathered Friends is a behind-the-scenes experience that gives avian enthusiasts a chance to call upon the ocean-close destination before it even opens to the public for the day, at 8:30 in the morning.

Once there?

This is as neato as as a feather is soft: You'll get acquainted with one of the aquarium's animal ambassador birds. (Just because you're meeting an ambassador doesn't mean you have to wear your fanciest clothing; comfortable duds will do, as long as you remember to slip into some closed-toe shoes.)

"You'll have an up close view of the adaptations that help them survive in their natural habitat and participate in a training session with an expert animal trainer," says the site.

And, you bet: There will be a chance for photographs, so you can have something braggable to show your bird-loving buds later (they'll be excited for you, we bet).

The aquarium has a few amazing Animal Encounters, and we don't use "amazing" lightly: The Sharks & Rays Animal Encounter gives participants a chance to stand inside a pool and feed the rays.

If ever something could be called "way cool," this is it.

For all of the Animal Encounters at the Aquarium of the Pacific, splash by the aquatic institution's site now. And something as heartwarming as a bird's cheerful antics?

Your participation in these encounters? It helps the aquarium following a difficult year of closures and other related challenges.

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