Enchanted By Feathered Friends At Jurong Bird Park

On my second day in Singapore at the beginning of this month, I visited Jurong Bird Park alone while my wife and my son Leslie went shopping. A visit to the park has been on my bucket list for a few years so it felt great to be able to tick off that item on my bucket list. I bought my ticket online at a discounted rate of twenty Singapore dollars.

My entrance ticket

My entrance ticket

Opened in 1971, Jurong Bird Park is Singapore’s first wildlife park and also Asia’s largest bird park, offering a sprawling 20.2-hectare hillside haven for more than 5,000 birds across 400 species from around the world, of which 15% are threatened.

As it was still Chinese New Year, I saw Chinese New Year decorations at the park. The park has quite nice landscaping. There were quite a lot of visitors at the park.

Chinese New Year decorations

Chinese New Year decorations

Chinese New Year decorations

Chinese New Year decorations

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Nice landscaping

Sculpture near the Birds of Prey

Sculpture near the Birds of Prey

I was walking along a road in the park when I saw a long iguana right in front of me in the middle of the road. It was not scared of me so I was able to get real close to it to take many photos of it from different angles.

The iguana

The iguana

The iguana

The iguana

The iguana

The iguana

I did not manage to visit every part of the huge park and I am now filled with big regret upon realising that I did not make it to Waterfall Aviary (which houses a 30-metre high waterfall reputed to be the world’s first and tallest man-made waterfall), the Swan Lake, the Parrot Paradise (which houses the largest collection of parrots in Asia) and the Pelican Cove (which houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of pelicans). I can thus only share photos taken at the places of the park that I did manage to visit.

Penguin Coast

The Penguin Coast, home to about 200 penguins across five species within its 1600 square metres. Featuring a 21-metre (69 ft) tall Portuguese galleon façade and designed to resemble a ship, the interior of Penguin Coast is constructed with timber beams and wooden flooring. The indoor, climate-controlled exhibit is home to the Humboldt, rockhopper, macaroni and the majestic king penguins.  It is fascinating to watch them as they torpedo through the water and jump up from the water onto the ice. The outdoor exhibit houses the endangered African penguins, otherwise known as jackass penguins, one of the few species that has adapted to the tropics. I did not visit this outdoor exhibit as I was unaware of it  so I cannot share any photos of it.

Penguin Coast

Penguin Coast

Penguin Coast

Penguin Coast

Penguin Coast

Penguin Coast

Lovely penguins

Lovely penguins

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A penguin swimming in the water

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Flamingo Pool

The Flamingo Pool is home to Chilean Flamingos and Caribbean Flamingos. Often hunted for food and for traditional medicine, the Chilean Flamingo, distinguished by their white bill with a black tip, is classified as near threatened. The Caribbean flamingo is the brightest coloured in the flamingo family, with three colours on their bills – grey at the base, pink in the middle and black at the tip. It is fun to watch as they strut in style or wade through the water in search for food. I saw a few pelican among the flamingos.

Lovely flamingos

Lovely flamingos

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Looks like there are some pelicans too

Looks like there are some pelicans too

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Saddlebill

The saddle-billed stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) is a large wading bird in the stork family, Ciconiidae.  It is a widespread species which is a resident breeder in sub-Saharan Africa. In this section of the park, I also saw a lot of Grey Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum) and a couple of herons as well as a big iguana.

Saddle-Billed Stork

Saddle-Billed Stork

Lovely grey-crowned cranes

Lovely grey crowned cranes

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Heron

Heron

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Not sure what are these birds

Not sure what are these birds

The iguana

The iguana

Flamingo Lake

Flamingo Lake is home to hundreds of pink-hued Greater Flamingos and Lesser Flamingos live. I only watched them from afar as I had already seen flamingos close up at the Flamingo Pool.

The Flamingo Lake from afar

The Flamingo Lake from afar

Riverine

I got to see an intimate underwater view of aquatic birds, freshwater fish and turtles in this 11-metre wide simulated river habitat through a glass-viewing gallery.

Some birds in the Riverine

Some birds in the Riverine

Fish and turtles

Fish and turtles

Lory Loft

About nine storeys high and covering 3,000 square metres, the Lory Loft is the world’s largest lorry walk-in flight aviary featuring 15 lory species. With over 1,000 free-flying lories, the Australian outback-themed aviary features a magnificent 360-degree elevated view of the landscape. Visitors can feed and interact with the red, yellow, green and blue coloured birds as they walk across suspended bridges.

Lory Loft

Lory Loft

Suspension bridge

Suspension bridge

Lories

Lories

A colourful lory

A colourful lory

A colourful lory

A colourful lory

A colourful lory

A colourful lory

Lories

Lories

Lories

Lories

A little girl feeding a lory

A little girl feeding a lory

Dinosaur Descendants

This corner of the park features ratites or flightless birds that are said to be ancestors of the great dinosaur. Ostriches, marabou storks, emus, rheas and cassowaries are the residents of this exhibit. Ostriches are the world’s largest, heaviest and fastest-running bird with the biggest eyeballs and the largest eggs in the world.

Ostriches

Ostriches

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Marabou Stork

Marabou Stork

Merabou Stork 2

Common Rhea?

Common Rhea?

Wings of Asia

This is home to a collection of over 500 birds representing 135 species of Asian birds including many Asia’s most exotic and endangered birds like the critically endangered Bali Mynah, where less than 200 are estimated to be left in the wild.

Bali mynah

Bali mynah

Beautiful peafowl

Beautiful peafowl

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Masjectic peacock

Masjestic peacock

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Other birds seen in the Wings of Asia

Other birds seen in the Wings of Asia

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World of Darkness

When I entered the World of Darkness, I was plunged into almost total darkness. Asia’s first nocturnal bird house features a system of reverse lighting, converting day to night and vice versa. On display are 60 birds from 17 species, like the Snowy Owl, Malay Fish Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Barn Owl, Spotted Wood Owl, Great Grey Owl and Boobook Owl. With binocular vision and exceptional hearing, these raptors of the night are highly specialised predators that almost never miss their prey. I was only able to capture a few of these birds on my camera as it was just too dark with only the snowy owls being kept in a reasonably bright habitat.

The World of Darkness

The World of Darkness

Common barn owl

Common barn owl

Spotted wood owl

Spotted wood owl

Snowy owls

Snowy owls

Cute snowy owl

Cute snowy owl

Hornbills & Toucans

In an area of over 2,000 square metres, this exhibit houses the largest collection of Southeast Asian Hornbills in the world, as well as a wide variety of the South American Toucans. I was only able to photograph some of these birds as they are kept in spacious and heavily forested aviaries. At some of the aviaries, I resorted to squinting my eyes as I tried to see the birds but I guessed some of the bids were pretty well-hidden among the foliage and I could not take photos of them.

Toco toucan

Toco toucan

Papuan or New Guinea Hornbill

Papuan or New Guinea Hornbill

Papuan or New Guinea Hornbill

African Grey Hornbill

African Grey Hornbill

Bar-pouched wreathed hornbill

Bar-pouched wreathed hornbill

Black Hornbill

Black Hornbill

Crowned Hornbill

Crowned Hornbill

Rhinoceros hornbill

Rhinoceros hornbill

Red billed hornbill

Red billed hornbill

Wrinkled Hornbill

Wrinkled Hornbill

Wrinkled Hornbill

Wrinkled Hornbill

Southern Ground Hornbill

Southern Ground Hornbill

Southern Ground Hornbill

Southern Ground Hornbill

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Other hornbills

Other hornbills

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Royal Ramble

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. These birds, with their lacy crowns and elaborate plumage, are a sight to behold as they ramble on the ground.

Royal Ramble

Royal Ramble

These birds look royal!

These birds look royal!

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Birds of Prey

Hawks, eagles and vultures live side by side in towering enclosures on this magnificent street of kings of the skies. These raptors have sharp talons and hooked beaks.

Birds of prey

Birds of prey

The impressive American King Vulture

The impressive American King Vulture

Some of the raptors

Some of the raptors

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Wetlands

The scarlet ibis with bright red plumage are stunning. Look out also for the attractive roseate spoonbill, named for its unique spoon-shaped bill. There are many other wetland bird species like magpie geese, Mandarin ducks, night herons, wood ducks and hammerkop.

Wetlands

Wetlands

Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis

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Birds in the Wetlands

Birds in the Wetlands

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Songbird Terrace

This is where visitors can enjoy a parrot show over lunch in front of the Flamingo Lake. I did not have lunch there but I happened to be passing by when the parrot show was going on. So I stopped to watch  and had a wonderful time enjoying the performances of  the parrots.

Parrots perforong at the Songbird Terrace

Parrots performing at the Songbird Terrace

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Jungle Jewels

The Jungle Jewels aviary is a 2,300 sqaure metres showcase of the great diversity of birds in South America such as conures, tanagers, honeycreepers and waterfowl. In the 14-metre high aviary of cascading water and lush vegetation, I saw some small and brilliantly coloured birds but I had difficulty photographing them.

Jungle Jewels

Jungle Jewels

Golden-breasted Starling

Golden-breasted Starling

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Lovely conures

Lovely conures

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I saw a Saffron Finch on a tree branch and followed it when it flew down from the tree to a little stream when it proceeded to take a bathe. It was wonderful watching the little bird enjoying a cool bathe on a hot day.

The Saffron Finch

The Saffron Finch

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The Saffron Finch

The Saffron Finch taking a bathe

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Heliconia Walk

Jurong Bird Park holds the honour of being Asia’s first Heliconia Repository. This honour was earned when the Heliconia Society International designated the Park as an official Heliconia Collection Centre in 1989. With 167 species and cultivars of Heliconia, the Park is proud to have one of the largest collections in the region today. These unusual-looking flowering plants, native to Central and South America, New Guinea, are best known for their exotic blooms. In this part of the park are bird enclosures with many different species of softbill birds that eat nectar, fruit, insects and other such “soft” food.

Heliconia Walk

Heliconia Walk

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Heliconia Walk

Some of the birds seen in Heliconia Walk

Some of the birds seen in Heliconia Walk

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The Breeding & Research Centre

The Breeding & Research Centre provides a behind-the-scenes look at the growth process of birds from incubation to weaning. It is where the incredible journey of life begins for some of the Park’s resident birds. The moment eggs arrive at the BRC, up to the time chicks hatch and are weaned, they are hand-raised by the Centre’s officers or bird nannies as they are sometimes affectionately known.

Breeding & Research Centre

Breeding & Research Centre

Breeding & Research Centre display

Breeding & Research Centre display

Breeding & Research Centre display

Breeding & Research Centre display

Breeding & Research Centre display

Breeding & Research Centre display

Breeding & Research Centre display

Breeding & Research Centre display

Eggs are kept snug and warm in special incubators in the incubation rooms, equipped with automatic egg turners to keep the temperature and humidity of each egg constant. This aids in the incubation process. At maximum capacity, each incubation room can hold up to 180 eggs of various species.

Breeding & Research Centre

Breeding & Research Centre

Upon hatching, the chicks are taken to the Nursery to be fed and looked after. The hatchlings are housed in brooders, a temperature and humidity-controlled environment, to keep them safe and warm. This is also where you can see how these adorable juveniles are fed by their “bird nannies”.

Nursery

Nursery

From the brooders, chicks move on to the Weaning Room when they are fully grown to help them acclimatise to the environment and each other. Here, the birds are placed in cages until they are matured and ready to join the rest of their family in the respective exhibits.

One of the two weaning rooms

One of the two weaning rooms

The other weaning room

The other weaning room

The chicks and birds are kept on a strict diet, monitored and controlled by their keepers to maintain their optimum health.

Food preparation room

Food preparation room

Committed towards conservation, Jurong Bird Park has successfully bred threatened species such as the Bali mynah, blue-throated macaw and other significant species such as the black palm cockatoo, hyacinth macaw, red-fronted macaw and the red-tailed black cockatoo.

The Bird Discovery Centre

Tthe Bird Discovery Centre provides a ‘living classroom’ for visitors to learn about the avian world, from the life stages of a bird to exploring how birds command mastery of the sky. I saw a replica of the 2.6-metre skeleton of what used to be the second largest bird in the world as well as dioramas relating to the avian world.

Bird Discovery Centre

Bird Discovery Centre

Bird Discovery Centre

Bird Discovery Centre

Best foot forward

Best foot forward

Eggs & their environment

Eggs & their environment

Masters of the Sky

Masters of the Sky

Nests and bowers

Nests and bowers

The art of weaving

The art of weaving

Birds in flight display

Birds in flight display

Another avian diorama

Another avian diorama

Another avian diaroma

Another avian diorama

Another avian diorama

Another avian diorama

Another avian diorama

Another avian diorama

Another avian diorama

Another avian diorama

Birdz of Play

I just walked past the Birdz of Play, the bird-themed water playground with giant tipping bucket, the Flying Fox and arcade games. I did not enter this part of the park as it is meant for kids.

Birdz of Play

Birdz of Play

Birdz of Play

Birdz of Play

Photography Booth

Near the exit, I saw the parrot photography booth for visitors to take photos with parrots. I did not ask about the price for that as I had no interest of having my photos taken by the park staff.

The parrot photography "booth"

The parrot photography “booth”

The parrot photography "booth"

The parrot photography “booth”

The lovely parrots

The lovely parrots

A family at the photo booth

A family at the photo booth

I spent more than five hours at the park but still could not visit all the exhibits as I spent too much time taking photos. I brought along only a 500ml bottle of drinking water and I guessed that was why I got a little unwell that evening due to dehydration (it was hot and humid) and being caught in a very light drizzle towards the end of my visit. But I truly enjoyed the visit and I may visit it again in future.

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