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Exotic Bird Shows

This is your chance to interact with exotic birds from around the world!  Our Exotic Bird Shows are some of the most interactive shows at Reptile Gardens and some of the most fun you’ll have at a Rapid City attraction! 

Gain a new appreciation for our feathered friends as you meet some of the most beautiful and intelligent birds on the planet.  With each show, audience members have the unique opportunity to engage with our beautiful avian residents as they show off their natural beauty, as well as some of their quirky learned behaviors.  

The Exotic Bird Shows at Reptile Gardens allow Guests to get up close and personal with some of our favorite feathered friends.  Take pictures, and talk one on one with our keepers between shows about these wonderful winged creatures!

Who will you see in the show? Not even the bird trainers may know! Each presentation has a slightly different lineup, and backstage shenanigans might give a talented new bird a slot in the show if a finicky diva declines to participate.

 

Some of the stars you may see on stage or the grounds include:

King Vulture

Augur Buzzard

Rock Doves

Congo African Gray Parrot

European Barn Owl

Eurasian Eagle Owl

Lanner Falcon

Blue and Gold Macaw

 

Is it summer? Then soak up some sun at our outdoor stage. Birds will soar overhead, run underfoot, and have you in stitches with their animal impressions. It’s more than just a feathered spectacle – most shows conclude with a bird personally gathering donations to support vital conservation efforts around the world.

Even between shows, you might see our trainers walking birds from place to place, and we are more than happy to stop and talk with you. If you’re very lucky, you might be able to watch one of our daily Keeper Talks with our beautiful display birds.

Is it spring or fall? Then you’ll get a chance to meet with the birds and their trainers in our heated show building. This is a great opportunity to experience a more personal presentation, with extra time for questions and photography.

  

Bird Fun Facts

  1. Molecular and fossil evidence indicates that birds are living dinosaurs! Modern birds are the descendants of the theropod lineage, which included the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
  2. The world's smallest bird is the bee hummingbird, weighing in at about 2 grams. The largest? The ostrich, at 300+ pounds.
  3. To call a person a “vulture” is no compliment – but by cleaning up carcasses, vultures actually play a critical role in limiting the spread of disease!
  4. The Peregrine Falcon is likely the fastest bird, with an in-flight speed of over 60 mph and diving speeds up to 200 mph.
  5. You’d have to be pretty hungry to try to hunt and eat a rattlesnake, but red-tailed hawks have a strategy: they spread their wings, which increases the chance that the rattler will strike harmlessly at their feathers. If the rattler does lunge, it exposes itself and the hawk has a chance to seize and disable the snake.
  6. A bird's feathers usually weigh more than its skeleton does - their bones are honeycombed and mostly hollow, but are structurally strong.
  7. Owls are known for producing pellets, which are compressed packets of fur and bone they are unable to digest. What you might not know is that other raptors also produce pellets! However, their pellets are a bit less interesting as most of the bones are digested away, leaving mostly fur and feathers.
  8. About 1/3 of the world’s parrot species face extinction.
  9. Laughing Kookaburras are the world’s largest kingfisher. However, it’s more common to see them eating mice, lizards, and snakes than fish.
  10. There are currently more chickens in the world than any other bird species – about 25 billion!

 

 

Summer Season Show Times:

 9:00 | 11:00 | 1 :00 | 3:00 | 5:15


Spring and Fall Bird Shows:

10:00 | 12:00 | 1:30 | 3:00

Show times are subject to change. Please call ahead on the day you plan on visiting Reptile Gardens if you want to see a specific show.

Donations

Several times a day, our Keepers will discuss and showcase our bird’s natural talents – see a raptor take flight or talk with a parrot. A few of our feathered friends may even show off some of their learned behaviors – our Rook named Zorro is famous for taking donations*.

*Zorro’s collection is later donated to aid the conservation efforts of the charity Idea Wild.  Zorro is now retired. Other birds do the donation collections.

Animal Artists at Reptile Gardens

Now you can own an original painting by a resident Reptile Gardens artist.  Some of our avian residents love to paint while channeling their inner abstract expressionist.   Proceeds go to support the artists (OK, we buy them treats) as well as to three great wildlife charities: Idea Wild, Galapagos Conservancy, and Black Hills Raptor Center.

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Conservation Status

Image of a Reptile Gardens bird keeper holding a bird on their wrist.

Of the nearly 10,000 extant bird species in the world, 25% are considered endangered or threatened.

Threats

Major threats to the world’s birds are habitat loss due to the spread of agriculture and human use of biological resources, invasive species (especially predators), and environmental pollution.

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Sky Dome

Step inside the Sky Dome to experience a warm tropical climate while exploring our indoor jungle filled with exotic and unique flora and fauna. 

Rattlesnake Gulch

Try your hand at gemstone sluicing or go on a 3D safari. Our very own old west ghost town as numerous photo opportunities and activities to keep the kids entertained.

Cheyenne's Habitat

Cheyenne the bald eagle has been a permanent resident of Reptile Gardens for 11 years with permission of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Maniac's habitat

Maniac is our resident giant saltwater crocodile. At over 16 feet long and1,350pounds, he is one of the largest giant crocodiles in the western hemisphere. If you don't see him at his enclosure inside the SkyDome, make sure to check outside!

Prairie Dog Town

Get down to eye-level with these fuzzy little animals and see firsthand what life is like in a typical prairie dog town!

Methuselah's Playground

Methuselah was a giant Galapagos Tortoise weighing in at over 600 pounds, and a long time resident of Reptile Gardens. His memory lives on at this playground featuring a bronze statue of Methuselah himself. 

Snake Show stage

Get up-close-and-personal with our snake ambassadors in this family-friendly snake handling show.

Gator Show stage

Dozens of Alligators, Crocodiles, and Caimans and one keeper...what could go wrong? Separate fact from fiction in this educational, family-friendly show and get a chance to pet Fluffy, our baby gator!

Bird Show stage

Interact with birds from around the world at the Bird Show, where they love to show off their beauty and intelligence. 

Gift Shop

Carrying a wide variety of Reptile Gardens souvenirs as well as educational books for every age and a variety of stunning rocks, minerals, and fossils from all over the world.

Green Parrot Cafe

Hungry? Refuel with buffalo burgers, The Maniac burger, Black Mamba Shakes, Indian Tacos, and more!

Giant Tortoise

Don't miss this photo opportunity! Get up-close and personal with these friendly giants who love to have their neck scratched and are great with kids. 

Tortuga Falls

Take a stroll through this meditative garden, gaze into our turtle and koi pond, listen to the waterfalls, and don't miss Darwin the Kookaburra! 

Walking Garden

We're about more than just Reptiles! Our outdoor gardens are beauty to be seen as they change throughout the season and year after year. 

Living Wall

This vertical garden is a wall of color that grows and changes through the Summer season creating striking patterns and unique portraits as it grows. 

Pet A Python

Don't miss your chance to Pet a Python!  Our snake handlers ar here to talk about any questions or myths you've heard about snakes. Don't forget your camera! Our pythons are very photogenic and love to photos with you!