‘Wings of Wonder: The Lorikeet Exhibit’ at Nicholas Conservatory through Nov. 9

Staff Report

For the first time, lorikeets have landed in Rockford! These bright, colorful birds have swept in for a stay at Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens (NC&G), 1354 N. Second St., Rockford, but only for a limited time. “Wings of Wonder: The Lorikeet Exhibit” will be in town through Nov. 9.

Inside the conservatory, guests will find a special lorikeet house custom designed for NC&G by Spineless Wonders. The enclosed area was made possible as a result of an estate gift from the Hofert family, as well as donations made to help fund NC&G programs. The house will provide guests with an intimate look into the fascinating world of the lorikeet. Visitors will be “face to beak” with the small- to medium-sized parrots known for their playful personalities, vibrant coloration, and their ability to mimic words and sounds.

Kelly Moore, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens manager, said: “We are very excited to bring this unique experience to Rockford, and can’t wait to see visitors of all ages be amazed by the encounters they have with the colorful and sociable birds. Guests will be able to interact with the lorikeets in our lush tropical setting, which is just perfect for these parrots. Who knows, you might even strike up a conversation with the birds.”

Lorikeets are a group of birds classified under the “true parrots,” and are found throughout the Australian region. Lorikeets, or Lorys, have a unique brush-tipped tongue for feeding on fruits, vegetables and flowers, and are constantly looking for nectar and fruits because of their rapid metabolism. Guests will be able to purchase a nectar cup for $1 at the front desk and gift shop inside the conservatory.

Hours for the “Wings of Wonder: The Lorikeet Exhibit” are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays; and closed Mondays.

Additional lorikeet-related activities (free with admission) are as follow:

Make-It, Take-It

• Chubby Birds — Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18 and 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Bats! Bats! Bats! — Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Lorikeet Sun Catchers — Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1 and 2, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Egg Cup Birdies — Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 8 and 9, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ExploraStory

• Oct. 18 and Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. in the children’s area. Enjoy a story and short activity, perfect for your little one!

Animal visit from Hoo Haven

• Oct. 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. See Hoo Haven’s spookiest animals for Halloween!

For additional information about “Wings of Wonder: The Lorikeet Exhibit,” contact Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens at (815) 987-8858 or online at www.nicholasconservatory.com.

From the Oct. 15-21, 2014, issue

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