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      Wild Wednesdays is for the birds...actually, it's a HOOT

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- So as I got ready for this week TMs Wild Wednesday adventure at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, I have to admit, there was a sense of relief|after all, I wasn TMt swimming with fish that wanted to eat me. I wasn TMt petting a 140 pound 15 foot snake that wanted to constrict and eat me. I was simply playing with birds.

      That euphoria quickly left when I was reintroduced to Atticus, the rather angry looking resident great horned owl with the nearly 4 foot wingspan. Among the up close and personal encounters the Tyler TMs Travels Team experienced was with Sequoia, the eastern screech owl that interestingly enough, doesn TMt screech at all.

      These little guys weighs about 4 pounds and spend their time in woodlands, marshes, and fields. Interestingly, the screech owl will avoid areas that Atticus, the larger great horned owl might inhabit. Both species dine on mice, bugs, and small rodents.

      Among the other feathered friends we learned about, was Lynus, the vulture. Like the owls, vultures like Lynus can be found all over the United States, including South Carolina. Unlike their inquisitive friends the owls, vultures find their prey already dead.

      A fun fact about flamingos are that their pink coloration comes from their diet. And why do they stand on one leg? According to Senior Bird Keeper Kate Lyngle-Cowand, they will often tuck one leg up into their body to stay warm in the colder climates.

      The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden hosts a daily bird show in the main plaza each day at 1:30pm, where guests can have their very own close-up experience with Lynus, Atticus, and some of the other birds that make Riverbanks their home.

      As for the Tyler TMs Travels Team, it was a welcome break from the blood pressure rising meetings, but the respite is over. On the next Wild Wednesday, we TMre told we are playing with Little Boy, the rather LARGE alligator. Great.

      Have you had an animal experience at the Zoo you will never forget? Share it with us!

      Wild Wednesdays airs on Wednesdays on Good Day Columbia.