“Pigeons are so underrated and it’s so cool sharing how neat this bird is.”
Position: Bird Department
Various aspects of avian care and enrichment, with a major focus on the wellbeing of the birds. Harmony also works with training our birds in various tasks and tricks, including verbal cues and commands, talking, and even teaching the pigeons to step to our guests hands and to paint with their feet. Her morning starts with checking the health of each bird, making sure their diets are well, trimming nails as needed and addressing any needs they have.
Harmony applied at 17, initially getting turned down. After high school, she attended Black Hills State University. During her sophomore year of college, she applied again, finally getting hired on the spot. Graduating with a Music Education Major, her original plan was to be a music teacher, but instead she ended up staying at Reptile Gardens using her background in music and education to teach the birds how to sing, talk and whistle. She has always loved animals and absolutely loves how her career played out.
Favorite part of job:
Harmony loves pigeons and could talk about them all day long if given the opportunity. Pigeons are smart, great with people and hard working. She has taught pigeons to paint, take dollar donations, dance on you, Additionally, Reptile Gardens’ pigeons are the only bird you can pet, hold and have dance on your head. She loves sharing this experience with everyone.
Things to know about Harmony:
- She has her little zoo at home: 1 dog, 3 cats, 2 lizards, and 2 pigeons that she hand raised.
- She loves photography and when she isn’t caring for the birds, she is out taking beautiful photos around Reptile Gardens for all of us to enjoy.
- She is a Black Hills native, only moving away for a five year period as a child while her father was in the military.
- Pigeons are her favorite animal of all time, and she has been able to raise 4 pigeons for Reptile Gardens. She remembers taking home Atlas, her first baby pigeon and that ‘mom moment’ of being responsible for a tiny life.