So, we were at the Singapore Jurong Bird Park and in our previous entry was a summary on how we spent our day
. Here in 3 seperate posts will be an overview on the 3 different regions of the bird park.
We will start with the first one; “Lory Station”.
Lory Station comprises of many small exhibits and the first you’ll encounter is, the “World of Darkness”!
World of Darkness
Enter the darkness of night, in broad daylight at the World of Darkness, Asia’s first nocturnal house.
Here, talk a walk through the star-lit jungle and meet the elusive nocturnal birds, the owl as they go about their normal behaviors under the moonlit ‘night’.
It’s A Hoot!
Peer into the world of the beautiful and popular Snowy Owl, Malay Fish Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Barn Owl, Great Grey Owl and Boobook Owl.
With binocular vision and exceptional hearing, these raptors of the night are highly specialized predators who almost never miss their prey.
Together with the owls, other nocturnal feeders like the Black Crown Heron and Bush Stone Curlew can be found here as well. Catch the owl superstars in action at the Kings of the Skies show.
Over 100 of these head-turners live alongside the Snowy Egret in this spacious aviary filled with trees and wading pools.
With its distinctive spatula shaped bill and stunning pink plumage, it is no wonder that the North American Roseate Spoonbill captures so much attention.
What A Scoop!
Its uniquely shaped beak enables the spoonbill to scoop food out of the water with ease. It is very sensitive and enables it to easily detect the presence of prey.
With two small breathing slits close to the top of its bill, the Roseate Spoonbill can continue breathing whilst its beak is still submerged in the water. Similar to the flamingo and Scarlet Ibis, the Roseate Spoonbill gets its beautiful color from its diet of crustaceans.
At one point in the mid to late 1800s, Roseate Spoonbills were almost driven to the brink of extinction.
Their beautiful feathers were used to adorn ladies’ fans, hats and screens and the species was therefore hunted intensely, even though their colors were known to fade quickly.
Draining of their wetland habitat and pollution also caused its number to dwindle. Thankfully, a combination of strict legislation enacted in the 1940s and watchful protection of breeding areas in sanctuaries, has the species seen a healthy recovery in numbers.
As the waves move in against the shoreline, this exhibit of various Shore Birds replicates a typical beach setting.
It is adorned with foliage found at the seaside, rocks and sand, complete with an abandoned fishing boat. Adding to the atmosphere for a natural wetland is a wave simulator designed to encourage breeding for the birds.
The cormorants are large water birds with a long neck, giving it a somewhat reptilian, primitive appearance.
One of the two African sub-species, the White-Breasted Cormorant is the only form of Great Cormorant found in sub-Saharan Africa. Even though they are known to take long, thin fish such as eels of up to 60cm long, cormorants live on a diet of mainly small fish.
Nankeen Night Heron
Found in Australia and around the Pacific Ocean, this pretty bird was named for its chestnut brown plumage which reminded early Australian settlers of a buff-colored cotton cloth which came mainly from Nanking, China.
With a height of up to 65cm, these nocturnal feeders wade through shallow water and thrust their strong beaks to catch insects, small snakes and amphibians, lizards and fish. Watch the color of their eyes and legs while you’re there. During courtship, their irises are known to turn bright red, and legs brilliant pink.
Silver Gull and Grey-headed Gull
Gregarious and highly territorial, the Silver Gull is also commonly known as “seagull” in Australia.
It is usually found around coastal areas and are characterised by its white head, tail and underparts, with a light grey back and black-tipped wings.
Its South American and African cousin, the Grey-headed Gull, looks almost similar with the exception of a grey colored head.
In brilliant red, the flock of Scarlet Ibis makes for a captivating sight.
This South American wading bird lives in the swamps, wetlands and coastal regions. At Jurong Bird Park, you’ll get to admire these gregarious birds as they wade around their habitat and search for fish as food.
The curved, slender bill of the Scarlet Ibis makes the perfect tool for probing in shallow water, mud, grass and dry cracks.
Like the flamingo, its brilliant red colour comes from the carotene found in the crustaceans on which it feeds. Its diet in the wild consists of crayfish, crabs, mollusks, insects, frogs and fish.
In the wild, the Scarlet Ibis live in large colonies, helping them keep watch against other predators.
When travelling, they form diagonal lines or V-formations. The Ibis has helped humans by naturally getting rid of insects and other small animals that are harmful to plants in gardens and crops. Unfortunately, the increased use in pesticides in crops has also caused harm to its population.
These pigeons are so large, that they have often been mistaken for chickens and turkeys!
Aptly named for its residents’ “noble” bearings and “rambling” style of walking, Royal Ramble houses 3 species of the world’s largest, and most handsome, pigeons – the Common Crowned Pigeon, the Victoria Crowned Pigeon and the Scheepmaker’s Crowned Pigeon in 3 separate aviaries.
The Coo-lest Courtship Dance
View the birds in its full glory – with their lacy crowns and elaborate plumage – as they ramble on the ground or roost in the treetops.
Rather than coo like most pigeons do, the loud sound of a male Crowned Pigeon when it sings sounds more like a low ‘boom boom’. And if the time is right, you could catch the Crowned Pigeons’ famed courtship dance as the male bows his head, makes tail movements, and bobs up and down in front of the female.
An Authentic Environment
The Park prides itself in creating a superb simulation of the Crowned Pigeons’ natural habitat to make the environment conducive for successful breeding.
All vegetation within the exhibit are largely common flora to Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya, with woven baskets planted on trees and low branches to aid the birds in nesting. As a result, about half of its population in Royal Ramble was bred in Jurong Bird Park. In the wild, the species is endangered due to habitat loss and excessive hunting, for its meat, feathers and lacy crests.
Their habit of landing openly on perches leave them susceptible to illegal shooting and poaching despite legal protection.
Hornbill & Toucans Exhibit
Just hang around outside their spacious and heavily forested aviaries, and you might start hearing a cacophony of hornbill honks – that’s a sure sign that they’ve spotted you hanging around!
In an area of over 2,000 square-metres, you will find the largest collection of Southeast Asian Hornbills in the world, as well as a wide variety of South American Toucans.
Famous for its oversized and colorful bill, the South American Toucan is often seen tossing fruits into the air.
This iconic-looking bird is also popular commercial mascot for famous brands such as cereals and other products.
Award-winning Hornbill Conservation
The destruction of tropical rain-forests has led to the decline in the hornbill population. With this, Jurong Bird Park has initiated a programme to breed these rare and endangered birds in captivity to ensure their continued survival.
Each aviary offers a conducive environment for them to breed, while allowing them to display their natural behavior. These monogamous birds are known for their deep faithfulness towards each other. While the female nests in a sealed crevice, the male goes in search for food.
It is known that the loyal female will accept food from no one other than her partner, even at the brink of starvation!
Jurong Bird Park has experienced considerable success in breeding some of the species and has recorded the world’s first successful hatching of the Black Hornbill, Southern Pied Hornbill and Great Indian Hornbill.
For this effort, the Park has won the Conservation Category award for the IV International Symposium on Breeding Birds in Captivity Conservation & Research Award in September 2007 in Toronto, Canada.
Plan your trip and time your schedule to meet the keepers and see the hornbill face-to-face at of the feeding sessions, 11.45am daily.
Say g’day to some of the friendliest birds at the Park!
In the world’s largest Lory flight aviary, you’ll see bright colors of red, yellow, green and blue fluttering above your heads, and around you.
And if you’re lucky, you might even have some of them perch on you while you stroll around the Australian outback-themed 3,000 square-meter aviary!
Feed The Lories
With a 125-year old Bottle tree at the entrance, the sprawling 9-store high aviary features a magnificent 360-degree elevated view of the landscape.
This is also where you will have the unique opportunity to participate in Lory Feeding. These gregarious, and exceptionally bold birds are a sight to behold.
And because they are so forthcoming, the Lory Loft makes for great photographs.
Best Time To Visit
See the Lories and Lorikeets at their best, and friendliest, during the cooler parts of the day – in the mornings or late afternoons.
And if you fancy a nice cup of gourmet Australian coffee and some snacks, visit the Dimbulah Café which serves fabulous coffee all day long.
Window on Paradise
Look through the “window” into the wonderful world of the exotic Birds of Paradise from a 40-meter long tree-top level walkway.
This 2-level exhibit offers an unobstructed view into the lives of these sensitive birds, which can be found hiding in the tree tops or skulking in the undergrowth.
While these birds look like divas with their dramatic plumes, elongated feathers and iridescent colors, they are really shy and secretive birds.
Between them, however, these natives of Irian Jaya and Papua New Guinea are well known for their flamboyant courtship rituals, put on by the males of the species.
With accentuated ornaments, the males all stand in a row and almost in unison, put on an elaborate dance and a phenomenal show for the females.
Like a beauty pageant, the female then selects the male that most impresses her to be her mate. Such displays can last for hours, and if you’re lucky, you may be privy to such a show!
As a result of its superb simulation of the birds’ natural habitat and its conducive environment, Window on Paradise has seen the successful breeding for the 12-Wired Bird of Paradise.
The first recorded case of captive breeding for these birds in the world, Jurong Bird Park was presented the First Breeders Award in 2001 by the American Pheasant & Waterfowl Society.
Birds of Prey
Hawks, eagles and vultures live side by side in towering enclosures on this magnificent street of kings – kings of the skies, that is.
As you walk through this exhibit, look out for the sharp talons and hooked beaks and read up on the amazing stories behind each of these beautiful birds of prey.
At a glance, you’ll get to see the differences between the types of raptors.
Some with wingspan as small as 20 centimeters and others as massive as 3 meters or more.
Raptors you can expect to meet include the American Bald Eagle, and Singapore’s natives Brahminy Kite and White-bellied Sea Eagle, as well as a very special pair of vultures.
The Case Of The Lost Vultures
You’ll also get to meet a pair of very special Himalayan Griffon Vulture.
They look healthy and well-fed up on their high perch, so it is hard to believe that in 2005, they were ravished by hunger and lost in the shopping district of Orchard Road
Exhausted and on their last leg, the vultures believed to have been migrating from the Europe winter, were rescued and brought to the Park which is now their permanent home.
Also, don’t miss the chance to witness the birds of prey in action at the “Kings of the Skies” show!
Jungle Jewels Flight Aviary
Take flight into the rich tropical rainforests of South America at Jungle Jewels.
Walk through the 14-meter high intimate aviary of cascading water and lush vegetation, and spot the small and brilliantly colored winged natives of the most species-rich regions of the world.
Gems Of The Wild
At the entrance, meet the sprite-ly beautiful Toucan as it welcomes you into the aviary.
Then enter and look high into the treetops where you will see the bright colors of the Tanagers and Contingas – that feed on fruit, seeds, nectar, flower parts and even insects.
Like precious gems, these birds along with the Violaceous Euphonia, Red-crested Cardinal and Yellow-hooded Blackbird add to the wondrous flying colors of the wild.
Southeast Asian Birds Aviary
Home to the region’s most exotic and endangered birds, take a walk into this free flight aviary and admire the beauty of Asia’s largest collection of Southeast Asian birds.
A Thunderous Rainforest Experience
Stroll into the center of the Aviary and admire the colorful free-flying birds in a tropical rainforest landscape.
True to the climate of Southeast Asia, experience a tropical ‘thunderstorm’ that happens on the dot at 12pm daily – with a mist of ‘rain’ that falls in the center of the Aviary.
Endangered and Exotic
The Aviary is also home to the critically endangered Bali Mynah, where less than 100 are said to be left in the wild.
In its efforts to conserve the species, 4 sanctuaries have been dedicated to house these birds, with each nest log equipped with built-in cameras to allow round-the-clock monitoring of these birds.
Since the captive breeding program started in 1989, the Park has successfully bred at least 22 of these rare birds. Some of these birds have also been returned and reintroduced to their native homes to ensure the survival of such precious wildlife.
Jurong Bird Park holds the honour of being Asia’s first Heliconia Repository.
This honor was earned when the Heliconia Society International designated the Park as an official Heliconia Collection Center in 1989.
With 167 species and cultivars of Heliconia, the Park is proud to have one of the largest collection in the region today.
These unusual-looking flowering plants, native to Central and South America, New Guinea, are best known for their exotic blooms.
The Bird Connection
Unlike most other flowering plants, Heliconias depend on birds – in particular hummingbirds – for pollination.
Living in harmony with the lovely Koi fish at Jurong Bird Park are the Mandarin Ducks, considered to be the most beautiful ducks in the world.
The male is pristine-looking and striking. It has a red bill, white and reddish face, “whiskers”, a purple breast, and during the breeding season, has distinct orange “sail” feathers at the back.
Originated in East Asia, Mandarin Ducks are held in special regard by the Chinese and Japanese as a symbol of marital bliss and conjugal fidelity because they tend to stay together year after year, unlike most other species of ducks.
Bird Discovery Center
Here, you can lead your little ones to the Bird Discovery Centre and they’ll come out an avian expert.
Over here they get to see, touch and discover for themselves everything they’ve always wanted to know, or perhaps never even thought to ask, about birds.
See a replica of the 2.6-meter skeleton of what used to be the second largest bird in the world.
And don’t miss the tiniest, right next to it! How do feathers help a bird fly, and how are they exactly practical for birds?
Green Eggs and More
Stroll through 12 sections of the living classroom and discover an entire flock of amazing avian facts.
See the egg-cellent egg collection from more than 250 bird species.
You probably know that they come in different sizes. But have you ever seen a green or a blue egg? Here you can.
Interactive Educational Sessions For Groups
Open to one and all, the Bird Discovery Centre flies the extra mile to offer interactive and educational tours, camps and classroom sessions to school groups too!
I hope you did enjoy this post and found it informative.
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