National Aviary pecks a winner
Photo by Justin Criado
Onyx, an American crow at the National Aviary, picked the winner for the Oscars Best Actor category Tuesday morning. Pittsburgh native Michael Keaton (second from right, yellow tab) was her winner. Keaton is nominated for his movie Birdman.
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By Justin Criado
In anticipation for this weekend’s Academy Awards (or Oscars, if you prefer) the National Aviary and the Pittsburgh Film Office held a prediction ceremony of sorts Tuesday morning in the Aviary’s Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone Theater.
Onyx, an American crow at the Aviary, selected the winner for Best Actor. Pittsburgh native Michael Keaton is nominated for his movie Birdman, which is the tale of a disenfranchised super hero who sets out to be remembered through one final act.
“Crows are very intelligent birds,” Cathy Schlott, curator of behavioral management, said. “They can problem solve. They can use tools. They can adapt to multiple situations and because crows are so smart we thought this would be the perfect job for her.”
Without hesitation Onyx picked from a board of pegs. The winner? Michael Keaton, of course.
“Onyx I understand is one of the smartest birds in Pittsburgh, and if Onyx went for Michael Keaton the film office obviously has to think Michael Keaton is the best candidate,” Russ Streiner, chairman of the Pittsburg Film Office, said.
The event was part of the #Pgh4Birdman campaign, which is trying to create social media buzz and support for Keaton before Sunday’s awards. There will also be an Oscars event Sunday at Heinz Field. For more information about Lights! Glamour! Action! visit the official website.
The Aviary’s African penguins where also on hand to show their support. As you know, Keaton played Batman in the 1989 and 1991 films, facing off against the villain Penguin (Danny DeVito) in Batman Returns.
“You’ve heard it said a million times that it’s just an honor to be nominated, but that’s not true. In Pittsburgh it’s all about winning,” Craig Davis, VisitPittsburgh president and CEO, said. “What a better place to honor him and his film than the National Aviary. We think Michael Keaton is a winner and we think Birdman is a winner as well.”
Keaton is in a category with Steve Carrell (Foxcathcer), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything).