Jurong bird park- one of the largest bird parks in the World

This week for something different I thought I would talk about Jurong Bird Park, Singapore, one of the largest bird parks in the World. We visited Jurong Bird Park in April 2017. It was a very hot and humid day, I think about 35 degrees and extremely high humidity. I have a theory that on very hot days in Singapore, there is rain coming. Jurang Bird Park is closing in 18 months time, to be relocated permanently closer to Singapore Zoo at Mandai. It is scheduled to be reopened in 2020.

It rained mid afternoon for us, thunderstorms galore. However, I got to meet some lovely Singapore locals whilst sheltering, and heard about their lives in Singapore and what Jurong Bird Park meant to them as children growing up. They were visiting the park for the last time before their beloved park moves to Mandai.  Surprisingly, as locals, they didn’t even have an umbrella! I thought umbrella’s were compulsory in Singapore. 
These are African Grey Parrots, A.J's favourite parrot - they are very smart and learn to talk easily

There was quite a lot of educational content at Jurong. The museums were very interesting (and air conditioned, to escape from the stifling heat). The egg size comparison was really cool to see in real life. Those Elephant Birds were huge, 3 metres high and lived in Madagascar. In one of the museum rooms, there was a skeleton of one and it towers over any bird I’ve ever seen. Way bigger then an Ostrich! The Elephant bird was extinct in the 17th century and apparently it is more closely related to a Kiwi, then an Ostrich! There were also ‘sick rooms' and hatchling rooms and other museum artifacts to visit and all under cover and all very interesting.

Elephant Bird, Ostrich Bird, Chicken Egg and Hummingbird egg

There was an underwater viewing area for the Pelicans feeding, with fish. It was interesting to watch. When there were no Pelicans in the water, the fish would swim at the top of the aquarium. Once the Pelicans were at the top feeding, all the fish migrated on masse as low in the tank as they could go. When the Pelicans were gone, life returned to normal for the fish.

One of the surprising things in Jurong was the Pelican talk. I was less motivated to see this talk as in Australia I have seen Australian Pelicans before- many times. However, it was a really good educational show. If nothing else, you learn that there are eight species of Pelican including the endangered Dalmatian Pelican. There is a board-walk where after the Pelican show, you can actually feed the Pelicans - Fish! Jurong provide the fish in bags and you wear special gloves and there are hand washing facilities nearby. This was A.J's favourite part at Jurong and not to be missed.

A.J feeding the pelicans with fish. the Grey Pelican in the background is a fake one!

Ah Flamingoes, the rate of breeding at Jurong was huge. I think I read they breed nearly 100 per year!

Hornbills, there were lots of different species

There wasn't just birds in the park, there were also Tamarins!

 The Macaw was in their 'sick bay', being looked after until getting re-released back into the park

Jurong Bird Park has one of the worlds largest bird collections and the African Waterfall Aviary is the second largest walk-in aviary in the world. There is a 30 metre man-made waterfall inside and hundreds of free flying birds. During April this year, there was a smurf theme, with the aviary being overrun with blue smurfs and Easter egg hunts for the kids (not real chocolate eggs, plastic coloured eggs - chocolate would melt in 5 seconds I think in Singapore!)

There were a lot of parrots in cages which unfortunately do not make nice photos so haven't been included. Also, a lot of the birds on display at Jurong were from Australia (Cockatoos, Lorikeets, Parrots), but we have also seen a lot of those already having lived in Australia where they are wild. I plan to cover Australian wildlife parks and zoos in future blog posts.

We didn't catch public transport to Jurong. I think it involved quite a few train changes and a bus, and with the heat it seemed less of a hassle to use Taxis. It cost us $17 one way to Jurong from our Chinatown hotel, and took about 20 minutes. When it was time to leave there was a small line for taxis, maybe 10 people, and took about 15 minutes for a taxi to arrive.

Due to the heat, we didn't really feel that hungry in this park at all. We just had a snack of Pizza's in the park at about 4pm, for $7 Singaporean a slice. We then caught a taxi back to Clarke Quay and had a proper tea there.

That's it folks for this week, hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about Jurong Bird Park, Singapore.

To read more about Singapore go to:

Gardens by the Bay
Singapore SEA Aquarium
Singapore Zoo 
Singapore Universal Studios 

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