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A Soaring Success: Parrot at Cincinnati Zoo Discovers Joy of Flight [Video]



Quick Smiles:

  • Harley, a 21-year-old blue and gold macaw, learned to fly at the Cincinnati Zoo after never being taught by his previous owner.
  • The zoo staff used an innovative “splits period” method to boost his confidence and teach him to soar.
  • Fans worldwide are celebrating Harley’s flying success, drawing inspiration from his heartwarming journey.

Ever heard the phrase, “You’ve got wings, why not use them?” Well, Harley the parrot at the Cincinnati Zoo took that advice to heart and the internet is flapping with joy! And just like Harley, this story is bound to soar right into your heart.

The Cincinnati Zoo took to TikTok (@cincinnatizoo) to share the heartwarming progress of a special bird named Harley.

Just last year, the 21-year-old blue and gold macaw made his first appearance on social media, with a slightly somber tale. Coming from a private owner, Harley had never been given the chance to experience the joy of flight.

But the dedicated zoo crew had a plan up their sleeve (or should we say, under their wing?). Enter the ingenious “splits period.” The TikTok reveals, “Remember Harley the parrot who never learned to fly?” We watch as Harley bravely attempts to leap from one stand to another, conquering his fears with each flap.

Sure, the path to airborne greatness had its hiccups. There was that one “I’m stuck, I need help!” moment, but aren’t life’s challenges all about the journey?


And oh boy, what a journey! “This was his first ever flight!” The sheer jubilation as this feathery fellow took his inaugural flight could even make a peacock jealous. And the sky’s been the limit since then. Harley has been flaunting his newfound skills, “even participating in education programs!”

Fans of our fearless flyer couldn’t contain their emotions. Comments ranged from touching movie references: “He’s like Blu in the movie Rio!!” to the humorously relatable: “I am absolutely not going to cry over a bird learning to fly.”

Perhaps what makes this story so touching is the underlying message. As Cincinnati Zoo trainer, Sarah Paese, shared with USA Today: flight “is actually a learned behavior.” Harley’s story is a testament to the potential within all of us, given the right encouragement and environment.

So, whether you’re a bird or just a person with a dream, remember to spread those wings. And if a 21-year-old macaw can do it, so can you!

Fly high and keep reaching for the sky, just like Harley! 🌈🦜