American Banker’s Family Aviary | Zoo Miami
Miami-Dade County, FL
The aviary within Zoo Miami, which was destroyed during Hurricane Andrew, required a complete overhaul. Putting a positive spin on the devastation suffered after the hurricane a new “Wings of Asia” aviary was envisioned. The aviary covers 3.5 acres of which 1.2 acres is an open air flight cage that makes it the largest open air Asian aviary in the Western Hemisphere.
The Aviary has waterfalls, walkways with faux fossils imprinted on them and mud banks made from shotcrete simulating a wetland. All of these features are sur-rounded by primarily asian vegetation aclimated to South Florida. The landscaping includes different habitats that range from wetlands to tree canopies for the birds. Special care was taken during the design phase to ensure that small birds had hiding places to protect them, nesting areas were provided for all species as well as perching areas for all sizes of birds. The greatest challenge was to use vegetation that was compatible with the 300 rare and endangered Asian birds that call this aviary home. There are over 70 species of Asian birds each having their own habitat requirements.
The entire aviary complex also was designed to educate visitors about the evolution of birds from prehistoric to current times. Visitor experience was a primary consideration.