Condor and Hornbill on Aviary Fence

Tracy Aviary is installing a new feature for kids of all ages to see how they measure up to the world’s great birds. The first two birds, an Andean Condor and a Southern Ground Hornbill painted by Chris Peterson, were delivered last week by Gr8West. They are part of a long fence where a dozen more life-size bird paintings will allow visitors to spread their wings to see how they measure up.

The addition of the large bird painting cutouts is the latest initiative of our ArtParks Project. Since 2008, Gr8West has partnered with the Aviary to provide art and the close interaction with birds to foster creativity and learning about nature.

Insert Heads Here. Pelican drawing by Tony Poulson

With initial funding from the Salt Lake Education Foundation, students from Dilworth Elementary and Lincoln Elementary contributed some decorative elements and design ideas. A variety of children groups have participated since then. Today, thanks to the leadership of Tim Brown, the Tracy Aviary has considered children in its design as it has evolved and constructed new exhibits and spaces.

In addition to the dozen birds we are working on now, we’re also creating some large posing stations for visitors to take snapshots at, including a 10-foot tall pelican (see Tony’s drawing).

Come on down and see whats happening with the birds!


The Creativity Crisis

by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

July 10, 2010

For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went  wrong—and how we can fix it.

Here’s a glimpse of the article:

“Researchers say creativity should be taken out of the art room and put into homeroom. The argument that we can’t teach creativity because kids already have too much to learn is a false trade-off. Creativity isn’t about freedom from concrete facts. Rather, fact-finding and deep research are vital stages in the creative process. Scholars argue that current curriculum standards can still be met, if taught in a different way.”

Click here for the whole article.

Powdered Dancers in "Tandem " position

The male attaches to the female using the claspers at the end of his abdomen. He stands watch while she deposits her eggs in the slow water of the eddy. Should she be threatened by a predator, he will fly off with her.

Powdered Dancers (Argia moesta) are members of the family Conenagrionidae (pond damsels) and are fairly common in the Southwest U.S.

I took this photo submerged in deep mud and brown water from recent flash floods in a eddy 15 miles upstream on the Colorado River from Moab Utah.