birdsIs traveling to a foreign land full of exotic creatures just not in your budget this year? Nature photographers, both novice and expert, should set their alarms early for Saturday mornings.

The Pittsburgh National Aviary is now offering Saturday morning photography sessions one hour before opening, allowing for pictures of winged-creatures that you couldn’t find on the streets of Pittsburgh.

The sessions will allow photographers to venture from the beaten path and get up close and personal with the birds. Trainers will assist in luring out even the shyest of birds to be captured by a lens.

Nicole Begley, an aviary educator and professional photographer, will be available every session to help answer questions about the birds as well as photography.

November 5 will be a tour of the wetlands, where participants will be able to visit the flock of flamingos at beach level. December 10 is a tour of the rainforest via back stage pathways. January 7 includes a tour of the grassland and a session with a flock of rainbow lorikeets

All expertise levels are welcome on the tours, and participants should bring their own equipment.

Space is limited on the tour, with only 15 available slots per session (Grasslands are limited to 10), and the cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Sessions also include general admission to the Aviary on the day of the program.

Sessions run from 9 AM to 10 AM. Call the Aviary at 412-323-7235 ext. 439 or email at education.prgrams@aviary.org to make a reservation for the session.

-Karin Baker