Following the Zoo trip that we made just recently, we had also planned for a Bird Park Trip to be done today! I can't remember when was the last time I went to the bird park but it must have been more than 5 years ago. The Jurong Bird Park boasts of the largest bird park in the region with 20.2 hectare of hillside haven for the 5,000 birds inside. It was opened back in 1971 and has since then gone through various upgrades and renovation, the latest of which is the Birdz of Play, a playground for children which features both wet and dry areas.
We reached the bird park at about 1000hrs, at last, living in the west has its rare advantages. And this time around, after a "lesson" at the zoo just 2 weeks ago, we decided that bringing a baby carrier, our Manduca will be a good idea. We did bring along our stroller plus many bags as usual. And oh, we bought a big mineral water bottle with us this time round. I am so not playing the high prices for drinks in the park.
Ducks wander freely just in front of the park, even before the entrance to the park itself. These are actually the Carolina Wood Duck that lives in freshwater lakes and ponds.
As today is part of the Easter Holidays, we have 2 eggs celebrating with us. Pink Egg and Blue Egg. I think they are hard boiled.
The first exhibit that we visited is the Penguin Coast. It is home to nearly 100 penguins across 6 species and on the outdoor area is the enclosure for the African Penguins.
The King Penguins - The second largest species of penguin in the world. It can reach a height of 90cm and weight up to 18kg.
The Humboldt Penguin - Named after the naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, who first described and introduced the bird to the western world.
And the outdoor area for penguins. Notice the crowd? Well, it is feeding time!
The African Penguins - My favorite. By the way, they are endangered. The African penguin numbers is estimated to be only at 55,000 in 2010 and if the decline of this species is not halted, they are expected to be extinct within the next 15 years.
We did our part by buying the fish to feed the penguins. All sales will be donated to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund.
And this time around, I made sure that my tripod is being fully utilized!! I love taking photographs but I also want to be inside them to keep it as memories.
The next stop was the Birds and Buddies show at the Pools Amphitheatre.
We arrived quite early at about 1050hrs. The show is only due to start in 1100hrs. To be honest, since it has been such a long time that I have come to the Bird Park, I haven had the faintest idea what will be shown here. I only faintly recall that perhaps, there was a part where a parrot was cycling a bicycle?
First up, the flamingos marched in! And if you can see in between the pink birds, you will notice 4 grey birds. They are actually the baby flamingos at just months old. Quite a spectacle to see them marching in nicely and then falling out after the host finished with their part of the show.
Birds flying to and fro from various corners of the amphitheater to the stage is a common thing in the show but it is never a dull moment to see the beautiful birds spreading their wings and flying just so close to you. I made sure that I didn't open my mouth while they fly above me. Who knows what will come dropping down?
Host of the Birds and Buddies show, Evelyn. The only show that we went for today.
The Macaw breaking through the paper barrier on the hoop! Brave bird!
And a bird trainer, Saad with a very talkative parrot. It is good really. He can even sing "Singapura, Oh Singapura…" With that, it was the end of the show. I must say I really enjoyed the show. It lasted for about 20-25 mins and there was never quite a dull moment and it is filled with audience participation.
The next area is the Heliconia Walk where quite a few species of Kingfishers are found.
The Collared Kingfisher - A common Kingfisher that can be found in Singapore. I love the blue on this bird.
The Blue Breasted Kingfisher - Shy one here.
Ruddy Kingfisher. As usual, I don't post all photos that I have taken on the blog post. A selected number that I like is shown here and the rest is on my Facebook Page.
Leaving this exhibit, we come to the Scarlet Ibis exhibit. We really like the bright red color that this bird is showing off on its entire body!!
Moving on, we passed the Window on Paradise where we couldn't spot any birds there and left for the Royal Ramble where all the crowned pigeons are being housed. My favorite?
The Scheepmaker's Crowned Pigeon. They are the largest amongst the three species of Crowned Pigeons. It resembles the Common Crowned Pigeons but their crest is even more lacy and longer. Check the crest out! NICE!
By the way, important note to parents. Jurong Bird Park has a note on the map that states "The park was designed in an area with natural slopes and hills which provide some barriers to disabled access. The park makes a concerted effort to remove these barriers where feasible." This will apply to strollers access too. There are many times where we are faced with no passage for stroller access after visiting an exhibit. All exits are made using stairs. So there are numerous times where we had to make a complete U-turn to go back to the area that we entered with a ramp/slope for stroller to access. There is certainly much more Jurong Bird Park can do to ensure that the park is friendly to parents with young children and of course, disabled access. Blaming the natural slopes is not an excuse to think of innovative ways of designing the park/enclosure. Last of all, you are reminded that there are some really steep slopes here in Jurong Bird Park.
Our next stop is the Lory Loft - The world largest Lory Flight Aviary. Suspended bridges, two tiered feeding tower allows visitors to view the 3,000 square meters of the area for this aviary. And needless to say, this area is not suitable for stroller access. The suspended bridge is constructed in a way that will only allow one person to comfortable walk through and not for two way traffic. I wonder what is the constraint.
And so, I quickly went in, took a few quick shots of the lories and came out to continue the trip with Hazel and Jayden.
The birds of prey attraction is next. This attraction houses the vultures, hawks and eagles. And our favorite?
This one here. Bald Eage. The Emblem of the United States of America.
The Dinosaur Descendants exhibit is next. It houses the ostrich, emus and cassowaries. We left this area quite quickly. Guess we aren't really fan of flightless birds.
The Bird Discovery Centre is just opposite the previous attraction. Here it is a learning area where various questions are answered.
Did you know? The chicken egg has about 7,500 pores. The pores allow air to enter the egg so that the embryo can live.
And we head into the Jungle Jewels that is just nearby. The Jungle Jewels is another free flight aviary that is designed to replicate the environment found in the South American RainForest.
The Saffron Finch
The Sun Conure. I adore its colors!
The next attraction is the Pelican Cove + Swan Lake + Flamingo Lake
Family Shot again. Our little darling is really quite tired. Noticed our new Maclaren stroller already?
Stylo Milo hairstyle. I wonder if it will grow longer than this length. That will be really funny if it does.
And with the flamingos! I need to bring my tripod more often during our trips to places of interest! Time to sell my current tripod and get an even more compact tripod made from carbon fibre. Max folded length to be 30cm!
The parrot paradise was next. This is the red sided eclectus parrot where the gender determines the color. Green - Male. Red - Female. I like the bright green color more.
My favorite parrot. The African Grey Parrot. It talks and talks! Hazel had to drag me away from talking to them! They have quite an interesting vocabulary!
Hazel's Favorite. The Blue Eyed Cockatoo.
And Jayden finally wakes up from his slumber. On hindsight, the bird park is probably not that ideal for babies of his age. I guess to him, they are all just BIRDS.
OMG! Says Jayden at the waterfall aviary.
The last place we went was the Birdz of Play. As usual, we brought along all the necessary stuff for Jayden to play in the wet zone but we forgot to bring one thing.
Climbing up the steep slopes at every other turn and not being able to find a decent place to eat in the bird park is draining our energy fast. I think we missed the Songbird Terrace where it should serve food but we are already too tired.
The wet area for older kids. The wet area for young toddlers/babies are just right behind this.
The dry play area.
The crowd here at the playground isn't as bad as the one at the Singapore Zoo but I think that unless you have signed up for the membership for unlimited entries, you will not want to put down $18 per adult just to come in here to play in the playground.
And we ended the whole trip with a sweet note.
Ice cream from Ben & Jerries. Check out Jayden's expression looking at the ice cream.
We were quite lucky that we left early as there was a heavy downpour as we exited the bird park.
To sum up our experience:
- If you are a parent with young infants/toddlers, the zoo is a better place to bring young babies or toddlers to. The different animals are more easily distinguishable from each other. Like I said, it is all birds in here.
- Be mentally and physically prepared to walk up steep slopes with a stroller on hand.
- Be reminded that there are various areas that is not convenient to families with strollers. You might need to make a U turn back to the nearest place with a ramp access.
- Bring along enough fluids for the trip. Drinks are expensive in the park. A Icy Slush will empty your pockets of about $5.90
- Weather is unpredictable in Singapore. Bring along a rain cover for the stroller and umbrella for yourself.