02 June 2011

Jurong Bird Park

Following the wonderful experiences at the Singapore Zoo (4 visits to date), an outing to the Jurong Bird Park was going to be inevitable (2 visits so far).  Especially when I found out that there are 4600 birds in residence, of which 1000 are flamingos and another 1000 are lorikeets.  That still left me with vultures, eagles, toucans, hornbills, macaws, penguins, flightless birds and so on.

Can you imagine the feast my eyes and senses endured when I happened upon 92 species of some of the most amazingly coloured parrots from everywhere in the world.  The blues, the reds, the greens, gold, pale pink, purest of white.  Wow, my camera was working overtime.

For a small island, Singapore manages to have "the world's largest..." of many things and the Bird Park at 20.2ha is just such one example.  A multi-award winner, only avian hospital in Asia-Pacific and an Official Rescue Avian Centre, this park is committed to conservation, education and breeding of avians.

Here is a small collection for your perusal. 


Supposedly pink, although they looked quite orange to me, the flamingos habitate in saltwater lakes and lagoons, south of the North American continent and the Galapagos Islands.  Their pink plummage is a result of certain pigments found in the food they eat. 

Pink Flamingos


Australasian natives, these magnificently coloured lorikeets are cheeky, noisy and bold.  My brother was tickled-pink when one of the lories befriended him.  The 3000 square metres, 9 storeys high lorry loft provides sufficient space for 1000 lorries, a suspension bridge and two-tiered central feeding tower.

My brother is making friends.
The multi-coloured lorikeets.


Native to Central and South America, the macaws are part of the parrot family and mostly live in rainforests.  Their facial feather patterns are like fingerprints, different and unique to each bird.  They are serious chatterboxes, screeching and squawking their way through the day for fun, to mark their territory and simply to just talk to each other. 

Blue and gold macaws
My jigsaw puzzle version of the Scarlet Macaws

Living in tropical and subtropical regions, there are 372 species.  Along with crows, magpies, jays and ravens, parrots are among the most intelligent birds, hence their ability to imitate human voices.  Monogamous breeders, they usually nest in cavities instead of building nests in trees like other birds.


According to fossil records the pelicans have been around for 30 million years.  In medieval Europe it was a symbol of piety. There are 8 major species of which the Dalmatian pelican has the widest wingspan at 3m and the Australian has the longest bill with a record length of 49cm.

This isn't feeding frenzy.  This is feeding madness.

Pink-backed Pelican residing in Africa & south Arabia
Dalmatian Pelican native to certain parts of Eastern Europe.
I love the scruffy head.  No brushing for this fella.

Shoebill Stork

Check out this funny looking stork with a bill shaped like a Dutch wooden clog.  Native to Africa, the shoebill has a statue-like habit whilst waiting for prey.  Surprisingly it preys on young crocodiles.  Who would have thought it could rank higher on the food chain whilst the crocs are babies.

Shoebill Stork

Toucans & Hornbills

On first sight both species appear to belong to the same family.  That is not the case.  The hornbill is a much larger bird and also has a casque on top of its bill (like a hump).  Interestingly the hornbill is the coat of arms for Malaysia's second largest state, Sarawak. 

Bar-pouched Wreathed Hornbill
Knobbed Hornbill
Bushy-crested Hornbill
Toco Toucan
Red-billed Toucan

Vultures & Eagles

Scavenging birds, they usually feed on the carcasses of dead animals. They are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.  The corrosiveness of the vultures stomach acid, allows the bird to safely digest toxin or bacteria infected carcasses which is usually lethal to other scavengers.

Himalayan Griffon Vulture.
Can travel 6 hours & 100 miles a day looking for food.

Steller's Sea Eagle is the world's largest sea eagle. 
Nest size is 2.4m across and 3.6m deep.
Brahminy Kite is considered a sacred bird in India and it's
the official mascot of Jakarta, Indonesia.

Changeable Hawk-Eagle
White-bellied Sea Eagle.  The largest eagle in Singapore
and extremely territorial.
African Fish Eagle
The following random photos are posted just because the birds are fascinating and colourful.

Scarlet Ibis
White-faced Tree Duck
Superb Starling
Helmeted Guinea Fowl
... and finally here's us on the monorail, enjoying the surroundings.

The Three Musketeers
I have never given birds much consideration but the visit to the park has given me a whole new appreciation and genuine joy being surrounded by such colourful creatures that roam our skies.

Highly recommended...