Free-flying birds are now free to see at the Omaha zoo.

The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium’s Meadowlark Amphitheater opened last spring, charging $3 for zoo members and $4 for nonmembers to see its Birds of Flight show. But lackluster attendance prompted changes, the biggest of which is dropping the price to zero.

“It may have been a hindrance in people coming last year to the show,” said Mandi Krebs, the zoo’s interactive animal programs manager. “We wanted to let it be an experience that anybody could come to.

“We’re excited to have more than a few people in the audience to share that experience with.”

The zoo also is decreasing the number of shows per day from three to two. Shows will begin at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

In between shows, animal handlers will take the stage for brief interactions with other species at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and possibly 4 p.m., Krebs said.

Birds of Flight shows feature more than 30 trained birds that fly over and into the audience. Some are allowed to fly beyond zoo grounds, but they always return.

The shows run about 20 minutes and are tied to a message of conservation. Last year, for example, a white-naped raven was trained to bring recyclable items to a bin.

The zoo has added two species to the show for 2018 — sacred ibis and barn owl — and has taught returning species a few new tricks, including the raven, who has learned how to sort recyclables from trash.

“We’re hoping that by showing how a raven can learn how to put items in the recycling, then hopefully humans can, too,” Krebs said.

The Meadowlark Amphitheater is located near the zoo’s north entrance, immediately north of the Children’s Adventure Trails.