2018 Year of the Bird Campaign “Wrap-up”

Written by:  Julie Tomita, Animal Care Manager


It is hard to believe that we have reached the end of the 2018 “Year of the Bird” campaign celebrating the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. This was and continues to be a pivotal bird-protection law making it illegal to hunt, take, capture, kill, or sell birds listed as migratory birds. It protects nearly all native birds in the U.S, covering more than 1,000 species.

The “Year of the Bird” campaign may be ending but our work in raising awareness about their challenges in the wild is far from over. Birds are facing new and serious threats all over the world with over 200 species listed as critically endangered worldwide. Listed below are some examples of ways in which you can help!  It’s easy to get involved in bird conservation and some of your most helpful actions begin at home.


2018 Year of the Bird Campaign “Wrap-up” - ZooTampa at Lowry Park

2018 Year of the Bird Campaign “Wrap-up” - ZooTampa at Lowry Park

2018 Year of the Bird Campaign “Wrap-up” - ZooTampa at Lowry Park


10 Simple Ways to Help Birds:

1. Be a Citizen Scientist: Many conservation projects need helpers to gather data on birds and  their habitat.  Contact your local Nature Center or conservation organization to volunteer.

2. Prevent Bird Collisions with Your Windows: Some scientists estimate that birds flying into  windows that reflect the scenery around them may be second only to habitat loss in accounting for bird deaths each year.  Putting up curtains or window decals helps make the window visible to birds. Switching off the lights in your house at night not only helps prevent birds from colliding with your windows but also shrinks your energy bill!  Hang bird feeders away from windows.  Awnings can also shade your windows and reduce the reflections that birds mistake for trees and forests.

3. Buy Bird Friendly Products:You can help preserve bird habitat in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean by purchasing shade-grown coffee and chocolate. Shade coffee farms, which imitate native forests, provide food, shelter and nesting sites for more bird species than sun coffee farms.

4. Protect Birds from Pets: Keeping your cat indoors and your dog from straying saves millions of birds each year.

5. Plant Native Plants and Trees:Native plants provide food, nest sites, and cover for birds. You can talk to someone at your local garden center to find out which plant species are native to your area.

6. Say “No” to Plastics: Replace plastic bags with reusable grocery bags; replace plastic drinking bottles with reusable bottles and eliminate the use of plastic straws by purchasing a reusable  metal or bamboo straw.  Plastic trash on land and in our oceans can look like food to birds and  other wildlife.  Avoiding plastic bags, bottles and straws reduces plastic pollution, conserves  resources and can save animal lives.

7. Teach Others about Birds: Share your love of birds with someone else in your life. That could mean going for a bird walk together or posting some of your favorite bird photos online. Talk to your friends about birds and teach people about the challenges that so many birds face. The more knowledge they have, the more empowered they are to help!

8. Avoid Chemicals: Birds may accidentally eat pesticide and herbicide pellets or prey that has been poisoned.

9. Support Conservation: Join a bird club or other conservation organization to learn more and contribute to protecting birds. Volunteer with organizations that preserve habitat and help birds and other wildlife.

10. Enjoy Nature: You don’t have to go far to enjoy and observe nature. You can go to a city, state or national park, a zoological park or your own back yard.



The Aviary team is fortunate to work with 145 species of birds ranging in size from finches measuring only a few inches to a 6 foot tall Emu named “Elaine”!  Look for these birds and other amazing species the next time you visit ZooTampa at Lowry Park.  And, if you happen to see any members of the Aviary team, feel free to ask questions.  We love to chat about the birds!

I hope that you have enjoyed the monthly bird species profiles written by different members of the Aviary team at ZooTampa, and if you were not already a fan of our fine feathered friends, I hope you have gained a new love and respect for this incredibly diverse class of animals!


Please review our booking tips before continuing

Outside Food & Drinks Policy

ZooTampa at Lowry Park offers a variety of delicious food for guests at several restaurants and concession stands throughout, but we understand that guests may need to bring outside food for special dietary needs. Acceptable and prohibited food items are listed below. For the convenience of our guests, there is a picnic area located outside the park near the main parking lot.

 Acceptable Items
  • Bottled water (max 20oz bottle, sealed) one per guest
  • Small snacks for young children
  • Baby food/baby formula
  • Soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep (limit one per child)
  • Pre-purchased empty ZooTampa souvenir cups
  • Any food required for medical purposes and medically-indicated nutritional supplements
 Prohibited Items
  • Prepared or packaged food or meals
  • Alcohol
  • Glass or any open containers or water bottles filled with beverages
  • Hard-sided coolers of any size
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
  • Suitcases and soft-sided bags with wheels larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high

Prohibited Items

For the safety of our animals, guests and employees, the following items are not permitted to be brought into ZooTampa:

  • Any type of explosive or weapon
  • Knives or other sharp objects
  • Pepper spray
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Marijuana
  • Illegal drugs
  • Straws
  • Clothing likely to create a danger or disturbance
  • Any hazardous items or materials

The following items are also prohibited to avoid blocking of walkways and/or trip hazards:

  • Segways
  • Hover boards
  • Two-wheeled scooters
  • Self-balancing electric vehicles
  • Shoes with wheels
  • Drones
  • Hard-sided coolers of any size
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
  • Suitcases and soft-sided bags with wheels larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high

Please leave any unnecessary articles secured within your vehicle to expedite your entry into the park.

We reserve the right to deny entry to anyone not observing Zoo Rules.

Pay For A Day Tickets

With a new Pay For A Day, Rest of Year Free ticket – for a limited time – you get unlimited admission through December 31, 2023 including access to our seasonal event series. Some blockout dates apply — see below for details. Not valid with any other discounts.

When does my Pay For A Day ticket expire?

For a limited time, new Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free tickets are valid from the day of purchase until 12/31/2023 Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free tickets which were purchased prior to October 1st, 2022 are valid until 12/31/2022.

What are the blockout dates?

3/11/23 – 3/19/23
11/24/23 – 11/26/23
12/26/23 – 12/31/23

Can I purchase a Pay For A Day ticket on a blockout date?

Yes! You can purchase a Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free ticket for first-time use on a listed blockout date and have full access to the park on that day. Blockout dates apply to repeat visitation.

Can I use my Pay For A Day ticket on blockout dates?

If you already have your Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free ticket and wish to visit during a listed blockout date, please stop by the Zoo’s ticketing windows for alternate options:

  1. During blockout periods, Pay For A Day ticket holders have access to significantly discounted single-day tickets.
  2. For a limited time from the date of purchase, Pay For A Day tickets can be upgraded to a Zoo Membership (with no blockout dates).
I purchased a Pay For A Day ticket online. How do I get my actual ticket?

Bring a copy of your confirmation (or show the confirmation email on your mobile device) to expedite entry into the Zoo. At your convenience during your visit you can stop by the Tours & Guest Services kiosk located just inside the Zoo to print your physical pass. No need to stand in line at the ticket windows. Walk right in!
Still have questions? Email us or call (813) 935-8552 ext. 0.