GLITZ AND GLAMOUR TAKE CENTRESTAGE AT JURONG BIRD PARK THIS DECEMBER

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Vicky, a great pied hornbill, flies to a Show Presenter in the High Flyers Show

Singapore, 31 October 2012 – Shows have been synonymous with Jurong Bird Park for 30 years. This December holidays, the Birds n Buddies Show will make way for the conservation-driven High Flyers Show. In line with the new show, guests visiting the Bird Park this December will experience
glitz and glamour the moment they arrive at the Park.

From the Palm Plaza to the ticketing entrance, guests will enter a world where colour lives, resplendent with colourful macaws and golden hoops centered around showbiz. Next stop – the Penguin Coast walkway, which transforms into a Walk of Fame! One photo wall will be lined with photographs of Shows dating back 30 years, and the other will showcase bird stars from the High Flyers Show. To satisfy the need for posing with flair, a giant photography backdrop with props awaits at Penguin Coast for guests to feel like stars. During weekends at 1.45pm, head back to Penguin Coast where all-time bird stars will make a special guest appearance at the Walk of Fame. Guests will hear more about their stories of stardom from the presenter, and have a chance to take a photograph with the bird stars.

More photography opportunities abound – A flock of young flamingos are eager to have their minutes of fame! Happening daily after the High Flyers Show, for 15 minutes at 11.45am and 3.45pm, guests can mingle with them and have an exclusive photograph taken with them after the new High Flyers Show at the Pools Amphitheatre.

An exclusive segment with a great photographic opportunity has been added to the weekend Penguin Feeding sessions. As guests learn more about these tuxedoed creatures, one lucky child who can answer a simple question will be invited to try his / her hand at feeding the African penguins in this up-close opportunity.

After seeing and taking pictures with so many feathered stars, it is also time to ponder – what makes a star? Held over the December weekends at 10.30am and 11.45am at the Breeding & Research Centre (BRC), A Star is Born is a programme for children between the ages of 6-12. Here, they will find out why birds are talented and gifted with abilities to sing, dance and draw from our avian experts!

After a day out at Bird Park, hang out at Terrace Kiosk right next to the Pool’s Amphitheatre for some yummy treats! Available all day throughout December, these cool treats and snacks are available at special combo prices starting from $7.90 for a hot dog set with fries and a drink. While at the Bird Park, do grab some specially priced retail merchandise at Wings, Feathers and Lory Loft while stocks last, like the motif mug at $22.90 which comes with a choice of either a free flamingo or penguin plush worth $15.90.

December will be a star-studded one out west at Jurong Bird Park, so make tracks here soon! There is no extra charge for the activities, but normal admission rates of $18 (adult) and $12 (child) apply.

An Avian Keeper feeds the African penguins during the Penguin Feeding session.

Activity details

A HOUSE AND FOOD FOR THE BIRDS AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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Students from Greenridge Primary assembled the wooden bird houses for the exhibits (left), and taught visitors to the Park as well. PHOTO CREDITS: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

Singapore, 2 April 2012 – Complementing the Bird Park’s continued focus on conservation and education, and in conjunction with Earth Day 2012, 15 students from Greenridge Primary School will be at Jurong Bird Park on 21 April to build 40 bird houses. As an extension of the Earth Day project, several Greenridge Primary students, together with their parents, will be on hand to guide visitors to the park how they can make a simple bird feeder from drink cartons.

This is the second year students have offered their assistance to make the bird houses, also known as nest boxes, for Jurong Bird Park. It was a cause which the students identified with, and one of the Greenridge Primary students who took part in this last year is in Secondary 1 this year, but wanted to come down again to help in this project. “It was a wonderful journey for me because prior to the assembling of the birdhouses, we did some research on deforestation and were shocked to find the number of trees chopped down each day. It just made me wonder – while the trees are being chopped down how many animals or birds depending on the tree as their homes would have suffered. And these trees would have been cut down to make paper and even my books. So I thought this would be a little contribution, to assemble some bird houses for the birds,” commented Sadia Tasneem, 13 years old.

After making them with an Avian Supervisor’s assistance at the Bird Discovery Centre in the Bird Park, the students will also paint these nest boxes in earthy colours, complete with a rainforest theme. Several nest boxes will be placed in Greenridge Primary, as well as in Jurong Bird Park’s African Waterfall Aviary, Jungle Jewels and Southeast Asian Birds Aviary. These nest boxes will facilitate nesting of small birds such as love birds, starlings, magpie robins, fairy blue-birds, white- rumped shamas and zebra doves at the aviaries.

“We provide these nest boxes during breeding season to minimise aggression and competition amongst the birds for nesting sites. The birds like having a secure, comfortable place to breed – we have seen a take up rate of about 80-90% every season for these nest boxes. Greenridge Primary was one of two schools who worked with us on this project last year, and we would like to thank them for their continued support towards our programmes,” said Mr Raja Segran, General Manager, Jurong Bird Park.

On the same day, members of the public can take part in a free recycled bird feeder activity* led by the primary school students and their parents at the Penguin Coast exhibit, located within the Bird Park. By applying some craftwork on the readily available nondescript drink carton, it becomes a simple bird feeder which visitors can take home with them to be placed outdoors to attract birds like the common sparrows, mynahs, and maybe even the orioles and munias. Materials for the activity are on a first come first served basis, so fly by Jurong Bird Park on 21 April!

Event details:
Bird Feeder craft activity
Date: 21 April 2012 (Saturday)
Time: 11.30am – 2pm
Location: Penguin Coast
* Only the Bird Feeder activity is open to the public, and normal admission charges to Jurong Bird Park apply.

Build a Birdhouse
Date: 21 April 2012 (Saturday)
Time: 9am – 3pm
Location: Bird Discovery Centre (closed door event)

VISUALLY IMPAIRED GUESTS TO JURONG BIRD PARK CAN NOW ‘SEE’ MUCH MORE

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EXHIBITS FITTED WITH BRAILLE WILL GREATLY ENHANCE THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THE AVIAN WORLD

Singapore, 21 December 2011 – Launched last Sunday, visually impaired guests can now look forward to ‘seeing’ more of Jurong Bird Park and learning about the winged animals which inhabit the skies with newly-installed Braille interpretives.

Ten of the Bird Park’s most popular exhibits have been chosen to be the sites of these interpretives; Birds of Prey, Flamingo Pool, Hornbill & Toucans, Lory Loft, Macaw Island, Mandarin Ducks, Dinosaur Descendents, Pelican Cove, Penguin Coast and World of Darkness. These exhibits were also selected with the beneficiaries’ needs in mind, making sure that the latter get to experience as much of the world’s largest Bird Park as possible.

The Braille interpretives’ text and information took the Bird Park’s Education team slightly more than a year to conceptualize and research, while the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) helped to produce the Braille as well as the ‘pictures’ of the birds so that the visually impaired can ‘feel’ what the particular bird is like. This collaboration ensured that the interpretives would be useful to the beneficiaries. “We are very excited to launch this project, and we are now able to conduct educational group tours catering to these special guests. This strengthens one of our three key pillars, namely, Education, and we hope that the Braille interpretives provide the visually challenged with another means by which to explore the very vibrant and interesting avian world,” said Ms May Lok, Director, Education, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

As part of the launch, NTU’s Welfare Services Club brought a group of 50 beneficiaries and their families from SAVH to Jurong Bird Park. It was also an annual Christmas and Family Day event for the visually impaired with the theme ‘JIA.’ Interpreted as ‘family’ in Mandarin, JIA also symbolises Joy In Abundance, which means that having a family is a blessing to be joyful for.

Beneficiaries spent a whole day at the Bird Park going through 10 different stations learning more about the birds at each pit stop. At selected stations, they also experienced feeding the birds. One key stop was made at the Bird Discovery Centre, a living classroom where they touched and felt bird specimens, their feet, feathers and eggs, and obtained an even greater understanding of the bird world. To better equip the NTU student volunteers with avian knowledge, Bird Park’s Education team trained the students based on the 10 exhibits fitted with Braille, so that they could in turn impart the information to the beneficiaries.

Commented Mr Tan Guan Heng, President, Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, “This initiative by Jurong Bird Park to provide signages in Braille is a demonstration of how the Bird Park is bringing more awareness about the needs of the visually handicapped. We hope that others will emulate the Bird Park. Thank you, Jurong Bird Park!”

For more information on Jurong Bird Park and the educational opportunities available, please visit http://www.birdpark.com.sg and http://education.birdpark.com.sg

Eugene Ng, 13, having a feel of the fairy penguin specimen at the Bird Discovery Center.

Eugene Ng, 13, having a feel of the Mandarin duck specimen at the Bird Discovery Center.

Eugene Ng, 13, having a feel of the African fish eagle’s claws specimen at the Bird Discovery Center.

Eugene Ng, 13, having a feel of an Ostrich egg at the Bird Discovery Center.

Eugene Ng, 13, running his hands through an ostrich feather, marveling at its softness.

Eugene Ng, 13, reading the ostrich Braille interpretative at Dino Descendants.

Eugene’s fingers moving nimbly over the Braille, learning about ostriches at Dino Descendants.

Lionel Tan, 15, picturing how a pelican looks like by touching the picture of a pelican in Braille, at Pelican Cove.

Mohammed Ratu, 19, in delight as she experiences having bee-eaters and starlings fly down and grab meal worms out of her hand at African Waterfall Aviary.

Mohammed Ratu, 19, reading about lories at Lory Loft, as a lory looks on.

Lionel Tan, 15, experiencing feeding a lory at Lory Loft.

WHEN TWO’S A COUPLE AND THREE’S NOT A CROWD

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JURONG BIRD PARK CELEBRATES LATEST CUDDLY ADDITION TO ITS AFRICAN PENGUIN COLONY

Singapore, 05 October 2011 – Less than a year after moving to a new home, a pair of African penguins are proud parents of a feisty penguin chick. The couple, who were originally residents of Singapore Zoo, started breeding and nesting soon after relocating to their new home in Jurong Bird Park.

The cuddly chick was hatched on 22 August 2011 and at just 10 days old, weighed 425g; a desirable weight for an African penguin hatchling. Unlike adult penguins, a hatchling usually dons a grey juvenile plumage after its first moult of feathers which occurs between its second and third month of life.

“We are delighted to welcome Bird Park’s first African penguin chick. Birds normally breed when they feel safe, happy and secure in their environment. Although the penguins have been here for only 9 months, they have already acclimatised to their new environment under the watchful eye of the keepers. The hatchling is the first for the five-year-old female penguin, Mate,” said Mr Raja Segran, General Manager, Jurong Bird Park. “While Mate and the male African penguin, Captain, have very good chemistry, they required some help from our keepers when it came to nesting at their new home at the Park.”

As part of the husbandry procedures in the Bird Park, avian keepers provided sand and hay as nesting materials to encourage them to breed. Diet also plays an important part, and all the above, coupled with tender loving care from the keepers, were key in making the African penguins feel comfortable and secure to engage in breeding.

Previously categorised as ‘Vulnerable’ under the IUCN Red List for bird species, African penguins are now recognised as an endangered species. The decline in the population is attributed to lack of food due to over-fishing in surrounding waters. Other reasons include hunting by predators and egg-collecting.

Commonly found in the offshore islands along the coast of South Africa and Namibia, these penguins are also widely known as Jackass penguins because of their donkey-like bray. Easily seen with black stripes and spots similar to the Humboldt penguin, African Penguins are the only penguin species which are adaptable to temperate climates.

The Penguin Coast, consisting of an outdoor and an indoor exhibit spanning 1,600 metres, is home to six penguin species at the bird park. The indoor climate-controlled den features the Humboldts, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Fairy and King Penguins, while African Penguins bask in the outdoor enclosure.

Mate and Captain

Mate and Captain

KING PENGUINS TO JOURNEY NORTH TO GUANGZHOU

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FOUR CAPTIVE-BRED BIRDS TO MOVE TO CHINA AS PART OF CONSERVATION PROGRAMME WITH PANYU XIANGJIANG SAFARI PARK

Singapore, 05 August 2011 – Four king penguins from Jurong Bird Park, the world’s largest avian park, will soon be flown to China as part of an exchange programme between Jurong Bird Park, an award winning park under Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and Panyu Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou, China.

The exchange is part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between both parties to improve conservation efforts through the sharing of resources and knowledge. “We are the only institution in South East Asia to successfully breed king penguins in captivity, and we are happy to share our breeding expertise with Panyu Xiangjiang Safari Park,” said Mr Raja Segran, General Manager, Jurong Bird Park. “The successful breeding of animals in captivity will ensure the survival of endangered species in the wild and also serves the purpose of educating visitors about the wildlife we have on our planet.”

The king penguins, two male and two females aged about four years old each, were first identified based on suitable age and sexual maturity. Subsequently, the captive-bred penguins were isolated prior to export to allow daily observations of their health status prior to departure.

They will undergo a routine veterinary check today, which is an important step in getting them ready for their trip on 16 August. Vets will conduct physical examinations and blood tests to ensure the birds have a clean bill of health.

Easily identified by their striking ear patches of golden-orange feathers, king penguins are the second largest species of penguin after the Emperor penguins, and one of the six species that can be found at the Jurong Bird Park’s Penguin Coast. This latest attraction features a total of 96 penguins of six different species, including the Humboldt, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Fairy and the African penguin, a recent addition that is adaptable to tropical climate. This exhibit features two 15-minute feeding sessions daily at 10.30am and 3.30pm where visitors can learn more about the different breeds and their feeding habits.

Frost, a 4 year old king penguin at Jurong Bird Park being restrained by his keeper, Angelin.

Dr Melodiya Magno conducting a physical check up on Frost.

Dr Melodiya about to collect a blood sample from Frost to run blood tests to check his health status.

Taking a blood sample from Frost’s neck for laboratory testing.

HUMBOLDT PENGUIN TRANSFORMS INTO A REAL ‘BELLE’

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A FEATHERLESS PENGUIN REGAINS HER PLUMAGE WITH SOME UNUSUAL HELP FROM AVIAN EXPERTS AT THE JURONG BIRD PARK

Singapore, 28 April 2010 – It was a pretty sight when Belle, the now-famous Humboldt penguin, at the Jurong Bird Park frolicked with her fellow penguins in her full-feathered glory recently. It was not too long ago that the 10-year-old was a featherless oddity and was treated like an outcast by her colony. She had missed her moulting cycle and was virtually ‘bald’ for the past four months.

Resourceful keepers and vets at the Bird Park chanced on the idea of designing a customised wet suit for the little Humboldt, which helped her stay buoyant and warm in the water. Together with a carefully managed holistic treatment that included husbandry practise and medication, Belle showed positive signs of recovery. Her feathers have since grown back, and she is now flaunting her full plumage.

Angelin Lim, avian keeper at the Jurong Bird Park, said, “We named this penguin Belle, with hopes that she will return to her beautiful self. Therefore, we were very encouraged when downy feathers started to show after we put her in a cut-out of a human wet suit in January. Her mood improved because she could swim and interact with her fellow penguins. While her condition may have been caused by stress or hormonal imbalance, it was the combination of this unusual ‘wet suit therapy’ and proper medication that led to her dramatic recovery. We are so happy to see Belle back at the Penguin Coast.”

The Penguin Coast is the Bird Park’s latest attraction, featuring a total of 96 penguins from six different species, including Humboldt, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Fairy, King Penguin and the latest African Penguin, a recent addition to the penguin family that is adaptable to tropical climates.

Penguin Coast hosts two 15 minute feeding sessions daily at 10.30am and 3.30pm to educate visitors about penguins and their feeding habits.

Belle showing positive signs of ‘recovery’ as she starts moulting again

Belle showing off her slow but sure transformation

ROOM FOR RENT!

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STUDENTS FROM NANYANG POLY AND GREENRIDGE PRIMARY BUILT 40 BIRD HOUSES TO COMMEMORATE EARTH DAY 2011 AND JURONG BIRD PARK’S 40TH BIRTHDAY

SINGAPORE, 13 April 2011 – In conjunction with Earth Day 2011 and Jurong Bird Park’s 40th anniversary, the Bird Park collaborated with 26 students from Nanyang Polytechnic and Greenridge Primary School to build 40 bird houses to be placed at its aviaries and the schools. Guided by Avian Supervisor Mr Gan Keng Tiong, students did not only assemble these nest boxes, they also discovered the significance of avian conservation in an urban environment.

On 22 March, the team came together to build the bird houses, which were later painted and placed at the African Waterfall Aviary and Southeast Asian Aviary at the Bird Park, as well as the respective schools. These bird houses are aimed at encouraging the nesting of smaller birds such as starlings and lovebirds.

Coming up on 23 April, students will be at the Penguin Coast exhibit in Jurong Bird Park to assist visitors with making the bird houses. Visitors can bring back their creations and it is hoped that through this simple exercise, they will gain an understanding of how in an urban landscape, birds still need places to nest in.

Students from Greenridge Primary School making their first attempt at assembling the bird house, while taking instructions from the Avian Supervisor. These wood pieces were cut into different pieces and screwed on during assembly.

Teamwork is key to building the 40 bird houses. Not only did the students from Nanyang Polytechnic help each other during the workshop, the tertiary students were also mentors and role models to the younger students.

Brown and black were some of the earth tones selected for the bird houses that were placed in the Southeast Asian aviary. The painted nest boxes were placed only at this particular aviary as the birds are not known to nibble and scrape off the paint.

Despite the rain during the workshop, young conservationists were hard at work with the painting of the nest boxes which they brought back to Greenridge Primary School.

The collaboration and hard work of 26 students, including teacher Mr Rajangam Arivalagan from Greenridge Primary School ended with smiles as they students posed for a photo with their nest boxes.

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