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Mesker Park Zoo's Budgie Aviary Now Open

Isaiah Seibert

A housewarming party of sorts Friday morning marked the opening of a new exhibit at Mesker Park Zoo, the Budgie Walkabout.

Families mingled along the path inside the netted enclosure.

The aviary is home to around 300 budgies, a type of parakeet. Neon flashes of green, yellow, and blue fluttered above the visitors’ heads as the birds flew from branch to branch.

"Those birds looked really pretty...it was exciting to see the new exhibit," Charlotte Fisher said. She tried to feed the birds. The zoo gave guests bird seed on a stick, but she said she couldn’t get a bird to take a bite.

"I think they’re just a little nervous," she added.

Zoo Director Erik Beck says interactive exhibits help kids understand the importance of the animal kingdom.

“To have an up-close, personal experience makes all the difference in the world, and these kids will remember being in this space for a long, long time,” Beck said.

Hundreds of donors made the exhibit possible, according to Beck. The entire project, including a carousel and some event space, cost more than $3 million.