Having read lots of good reviews and seen lots of great photos I was expecting a lot more of the ASDM. I was particularly anxious to visit the hummingbird aviary. I do not know if the timing of our visit in mid-December was a factor but the experience was much less than I expected. In the hummingbird aviary, even though their signs list many different species of HBs, I only saw 4 kinds and fewer than a dozen birds total. I have been studying HBs and HB nesting for a few years now so know how to spot them and there just many in the aviary. Our visit to the aviary for other birds was even more disappointing as they have a whole wall listings the available birds but I saw fewer than 10 different types of birds.
The quilt display in the gallery was really very good and my wife who is a quilter really enjoyed it. The food at the Ironwood Terrace restaurant was decent but it was crowded with a long line.
The best part of our visit was the Raptor Free Flight demonstration. According to the volunteers, it was more crowded than normal but since they fly the birds between perches on both sides of the gathered crowd, everyone got a chance to see them. Capturing images of the birds was a challenge because there were so many people but it was enjoyable none-the-less.
We were there for almost 4 hours but felt like we needed more time to properly see the whole place - one of our party had a time restriction so we couldn't stay longer.
It was a nice visit but much less satisfying than I expected it to be.