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:
Congo African Gray Parrot
European Barn Owl
Eurasian Eagle Owl
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
- Molecular and fossil evidence indicates that birds are living dinosaurs! Modern birds are the descendants of the theropod lineage, which included the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
- The world's smallest bird is the bee hummingbird, weighing in at about 2 grams. The largest? The ostrich, at 300+ pounds.
- 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!
- The Peregrine Falcon is likely the fastest bird, with an in-flight speed of over 60 mph and diving speeds up to 200 mph.
- 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.
- A bird's feathers usually weigh more than its skeleton does - their bones are honeycombed and mostly hollow, but are structurally strong.
- 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.
- About 1/3 of the world’s parrot species face extinction.
- Laughing Kookaburras are the world’s largest kingfisher. However, it’s more common to see them eating mice, lizards, and snakes than fish.
- 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.
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.
Of the nearly 10,000 extant bird species in the world, 25% are considered endangered or threatened.
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.