Bird Watching in Jurong Bird Park

Janine at the Jurong Bird Park

After more than a year of living in Singapore, my family finally had the opportunity to visit the Jurong Bird Park, Asia’s largest bird park.  The best thing with it was we were able to go to the park for free.  Well the admission tickets to the park costs S$20 for adults and S$13 for kids, but we got free passes for four.

My wife Jen currently works with OCBC bank, one of the largest banks on the island and they have corporate tickets to a number of parks and attractions in Singapore.   Monthly they raffle in these passes to employees who register and fortunately Jen was picked during the raffle.  Well this was the second time that she was drawn, wherein the last time she was drawn for free passes to the Singapore Flyer.  I’ll see if I can post a separate blog about it next time.

So by the way, the Jurong Bird Park is one of the four nature parks in Singapore.  The other three are the Singapore Zoo, the Night Safari, and the newly opened River Safari.  The bird park is located on the western side of Singapore and may be reached by bus from the Boon Lay MRT station.

This trip of ours is my second time while the first for Jen and my kids, especially Jade, my youngest whom is just 5 months old hen.  I was able to go there from one of my previous Singapore trips as a plain tourist.

Though the park is quite big, I remember that we can tour around it for just half a day so we decided to go there around 11am and have lunch first in Jurong Point Mall beside the Boon Lay MRT then simply took a cab to the park.

Upon entrance to the park, the first section that we encounter is the Penguin Coast Exhibit which is a dimmed room that is divided by the glass wall that encloses the penguins.  Inside there is a partial dry area at the back side to mimic the icy land or iceberg which the penguins inhabit while there is an icy pool in the foreground where the penguins can swim around.  There around 4 or 5 species there, I think.  That place reminded me of a scene from the movie Happy Feet when Mumble was captured and put in the same type of enclosure for viewing.

Penguins in Exhibit at Bird Park

Penguins at the Penguin Coast Exhibit

Some Macaus for a Bird show

Next we moved on and turned left on the tram roadway and we entered another dark room called the World of Darkness.  But this time it was filled with nocturnal birds, mainly owls.  They had different owls of different sizes and they needed a dark enclosure to mimic the night.

Then after that we moved to another set of cages of birds called the Scarlet Ibis and just so happen that they are feeding them with fish.  Those birds originally live in swamps or in wetlands where it is rich with fishes.  Also we passed into the big enclosure of hornbills and toucans and also another cage of huge and royal looking blue pigeons.

Heliconia at the Bird Park

a Heliconia bird

in the Scarlet Ibis cage

A flock of Scarlet Ibis

a Crowned Pigeon

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

at the Lory Loft

Janine feeds some lories in the Lory Loft

Next we heads for the big aviary called the Lory Loft.  Basically it is a huge cage that encloses huge trees and is filled with lory birds.  You enter the cage through a cafe and then on a loft raised high above the ground with bridges that lead to the center of the aviary and around it.  And for S$3, you can feed the birds with unlimited feeding, by asking for refills of this watery feeds.  Then with your container of feeds, parrots would fly to you to try and taste what you are holding.  Some would fly to guests’ hands or shoulders and offers a great photo opportunity specially with the kids.

Around 3pm, we walked back to the Pools Amphitheatre to catch one the park’s shows.  It is the High Flyers Show where they’ll be showcasing a number of their high flying birds.  So we picked a seat about ten rows from the front as the afternoon sun is scorching the front seats and we want the shade of the tent above to cover us and the kids.

Bird Contest

Bird Contest during a Show

Pink flamingos

Janine with some baby pink flamingos

Macau in flight during the show

The show showcased a number of birds like different pelicans, macaws, parrots, and flamingos.  There was also a portion the I volunteered to hold on a rope where some birds will fly to to pick up something.  Too bad I had my back from my wife so she was not able take a good photo of me.  Anyway, there were other guests who volunteered to hold up some hoops where the macaws fly through.  Sadly I was not able to get a clear shot of the bird due to their speed.

After the show, they allowed guests to take some photos with some of their flamingos and I grabbed the opportunity to have Janine have a photo with the birds.

Mandarin Duck

Guess what’s the male Mandarin Duck doing….

And so after taking some photos, we proceeded on going in further into the park.  Instead of going back to the toucans, we made our way to the middle of the park via the central pathway where it lead us to the enclosures for the Southeast Asian birds where there are mynahs and other birds that are unique to the region.  And just outside is a pond where there is a peculiar looking duck, called the Mandarin duck that looked fascinating that it looked like a floating painted cartoon.

Continuing on, we reached the section of the descendants of dinosaurs, the giant birds like ostriches, emus, and cassowaries.  These are huge, flightless birds that which shows some resemblance to those 2-legged, feathered dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period.  Then across their cages, we entered a mini-museum about the birds, the Bird Discovery Center.  Well Janine asked us to go there after she saw the park map and said she want to go to the Xray birds as the map showed a picture of a bird’s skeleton.   Anyways, it features different aspects about birds, their habitats, their eggs, etc.

a pair of Ostriches

Magnificent Birds Exhibit

Different Egg Sizes

Which is best for an omelet?

Next we walked further to the back of the park to the African Waterfall Aviary.  It is again another big aviary which covers a forest and showcases some African birds with the artificial waterfall at the far end.  Well, unfortunately, there wasn’t that many birds to see there so we decided to move on.

We passed by the Parrot Paradise where they have a collection of different parrot species and macaws.  They’ve got quite a selection.   And almost across it is a big pond for Swans and Pelicans.  And before we leave the park, we pass by a small swamp with pink flamingos.

Pelican Sanctuary

a flock of flamingos

Macaus in their cage

It was a fun trip and so is tiring but it was a very good time to spend some quality time with the family.

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