Go BIG or Go Home
What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

PHOTO FRIDAY: World’s Largest Pigeon Species, Pittsburgh, PA

We’re headed west to Cleveland today, plodding along I-80, which traverses the width of Pennsylvania in the most boring of fashions. Mere months ago, we took this same route to Pittsburgh, and thought maybe we had enough of this interstate to last a while. Apparently not.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, the final BIG thing we saw there was the world’s largest pigeon species, the Victoria Crown Pigeon, at the National Aviary.


William, a friendly resident of the National Aviary!

This is William. He is not THE world’s largest pigeon, but he gets my vote for the world’s friendliest pigeon! He just walked right up to us. His “life partner” Mary was much shyer, and kept to herself in her habitat.

It’s really hard to believe this is even a pigeon. This species has beautiful bluish-grey plumage, and a tall lace-like crest. Not something you would see on the sidewalks of Manhattan, stalking your bagel.

We enjoyed our afternoon at the National Aviary. One of the world’s largest free-flight aviaries, this facility is home to more than 600 birds representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. You make your way through several different habitats, including grasslands, wetlands and a tropical rainforest.

The Girl in particular got a kick out of the “Lorries and Friends” exhibit. You can buy a cup of nectar for $3.00 and bring it in with you to encourage the tame and friendly birds to come over to you.

National Aviary

Fearlessly feeding the Lorries

Bonus: she didn’t get pooped on. But guests who do have that honor will get a special commemorative button to wear upon exiting the exhibit!

Disclaimer: Visit Pittsburgh hosted our visit to the National Aviary.




  1. May 25, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    Okay, I just have to know…since you get a special commerative button if you get pooped on, was your daughter disappointed that she wasn’t? I think my kids would have wanted that button. 🙂 Maybe that’s because they are just gross teenagers….:)

    Hope you enjoy your visit to Ohio!

    • Traci Suppa said,
      May 29, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

      Luckily, she didn’t want the button, If she did, she would have likely gone back in and stood there until she “qualified.”

  2. Dorothy said,
    May 27, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    Hi Traci, Reading yr blog has introduced me to a no. of BIG things. I especially enjoyed seeing the BIG pigeon, beautiful. Thanks

  3. Kristina said,
    May 28, 2012 @ 6:14 am

    Oh yes, William really looks very friendly pigeon :)))))))

  4. Mike said,
    May 29, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    $3.00 nectar shots? Sounds like a deal to me. You must have been there during happy hour 🙂

    • Traci Suppa said,
      May 29, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

      It wouldn’t be right if they offered 15-cent wings, now would it?

  5. Elizabeth said,
    May 29, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

    True Story: About three years ago, our family was invited to view the Penguin exhibit before it opened to the public. We had a wonderful time and there was basically no one visiting the Aviary so we felt free to roam the other exhibits. I had my 4 year old, my 2 year old and I was pregnant. We went into the tropical room and the male pigeon approached us. We were completely alone in the room. We had visited lots of times before so this didn’t alarm us, but then he starting stalking and pecking at my purse and then my 4 year old! My 4 year old screamed and ran away from the main doors and away from me! My 2 yr old starting crying and the pigeon literally chased my 4 yr old around the entire room as I chased the pigeon, pregnant, carrying my 2 year old. I’m not exaggerating when I say this pigeon was aggressive & threatening…I know it’s just a pigeon but it scared the pants off my kids. Kid and pigeon were flying all over the room. It was a debacle. I hit the pigeon several times with my lovely Coach bag to get it to go into the foliage so my 4 yr old would come back to the doors and leave the room! It took a good year before they would agree to go back to the Aviary!

    • Traci Suppa said,
      May 29, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

      Is it wrong that seeing this scene play out in my head made me giggle a little? (Sorry!) Who knew that a cure little pigeon could be so threatening? Man, talk about major therapy bills.

      • Elizabeth said,
        May 29, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

        Don’t worry- my husband & i were laughing that evening!! But beware…those pigeons look harmless…the minute you think you’re safe!!! 😉

  6. Armands said,
    May 30, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

    I think I would get scared if I saw them in a pack trying to get the burger I am eating