They'll Be Eating Out of Your Hands in "Lorikeets," Fun Summer Exhibit of Beautiful Birds at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

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Guests can buy nectar cups and hand-feed the lorikeets in walk-through aviary, open May 24-Sept. 1. A memorable 'Get-Close' experience.

Maritime Aquarium "Lorikeets" exhibit

Birds may land on your hand, arm or even on your head in "Lorikeets," a fun summer exhibit at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

We're again inviting guests this summer to post their photos, either on Facebook or on Twitter with the hashtag #tweetkeet.– Chris Loynd,Maritime Aquarium marketing director

Step into a lush aviary to share a laugh and a squawk with beautiful tropical birds that will sip food right out of your hands as “Lorikeets” returns as the special summer exhibit at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

“Lorikeets” will be open from May 24 through Sept. 1 outside on the Aquarium’s riverfront courtyard.

The exhibit will feature more than 50 free-flying lorikeets, which are colorful medium-sized parrots native to the south Pacific (SE Asia, eastern Australia, Polynesia). The birds come in a dazzling rainbow of colors – with feathers that almost radiate an iridescent glow when seen in full sunlight. Lorikeets are naturally found in rainforests and woodlands, but also in wooded urban areas, where they primarily feed on the nectars of various blossoms and fruits.

“The lorikeets were here last summer and we got such an amazing positive reaction to them from our guests that we are bringing them back,” said Judith Bacal, the Aquarium’s exhibits director. “Just walking into their aviary and being among these gorgeous birds would be enough. But what’s even better is that you can buy a cup of nectar and they’ll land right on you to feed. That’s the kind of ‘Get Close’ experience that you’ll always remember and that we love to provide at The Maritime Aquarium.”

Entry into “Lorikeets” will be free with Aquarium admission. Nectar cups will cost $3.

Chris Loynd, the Aquarium’s marketing director, said it is those special moments of animal interaction – available only at The Maritime Aquarium – that enhance the South Norwalk attraction’s reputation for memorable, affordable and nearby family fun in Connecticut.

The interactions between guests and birds also create wonderful photo opportunities, he added.

“It seems like everyone who went in ‘Lorikeets’ last summer had their camera or phone out to take wonderful pictures of the birds on their friend’s head or their child’s arm,” Loynd said. “So we’re again inviting guests this summer to post their photos, either on Facebook or on Twitter with the hashtag #tweetkeet.”

The 1,800-square-foot Maritime Aquarium exhibit will boast about a dozen varieties of lorikeets.

Lorikeets are specially adapted to their sweet nectar diet through their specialized tongue. Tiny hair-like appendages called papillae form a U shape on the end of the tongue. When the tongue is extended, these papillae stand up like bristles on a brush, expanding the tongue’s surface area and allowing the birds to easily soak up nectar. Unique to lorikeets, these papillae have earned the birds the nickname “brush-tongued parrots.”

Some other important items to note about “Lorikeets”:

  • It will be handicapped-accessible but no strollers, please.
  • Guests will be asked to sanitize their hands before entering.
  • To encourage the birds to rest, the exhibit will close for a half-hour at 1:30 p.m. daily.
  • The exhibit will close 30 minutes before the rest of the Aquarium: at 4:30 p.m. in May and June, and at 5:30 p.m. in July and August.

For anyone with an aversion to close encounters with birds, viewing of the lorikeets will be possible from outside the aviary.

Get more details about “Lorikeets” and other summer offerings at The Maritime Aquarium, including the new IMAX movie “Journey to the South Pacific” (opening July 1), by calling (203) 852-0700 or logging onto

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Dave Sigworth
The Maritime Aquarium
+1 (203) 852-0700 Ext: 2232
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