LOVE IS IN THE AIR AS GROUND DOVES BOOST BREEDING PROGRAMME IN JURONG BIRD PARK

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- Ground doves, known for their faithfulness to their partners until death, hatched as a result of careful diet and husbandry planning; Luzon and Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons among rare species.

A Luzon bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park’s South East Asian Aviary. After a successful breeding programme, 10 progenies will be sent back to the Philippines this year to increase the wild population on Polillo Islands.

A Luzon bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park’s South East Asian Aviary. After a successful breeding programme, 10 progenies will be sent back to the Philippines this year to increase the wild population on Polillo Islands.

Singapore, 13 February 2014 – With Valentine’s Day happening tomorrow, Jurong Bird Park is a-flutter with successful hatchings of ground dove pigeons, known for their faithfulness to their partners until death. Amongst them are Luzon and Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons, both of which can only be found in the Philippines.

A Mindanao bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk.

A Mindanao bleeding heart pigeon in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk.

After a successful two-year breeding programme, Jurong Bird Park now has ten Luzon bleeding heart pigeon progenies ready to be sent back to the Philippines this year to be released to the wild on Polillo Islands. Luzon bleeding heart pigeons are a threatened species of bird, with declining numbers in the wild due to deforestation and the illegal pet trade.

The project is Jurong Bird Park’s first off-site conservation project involving an endemic species from the Philippines in the ASEAN region. Recognising Jurong Bird Park’s expertise in conservation and breeding, two pairs of Luzon bleeding heart pigeons arrived in the park two years ago as part of an agreement signed with Avilon Zoo (Philippines) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Philippines. These birds started breeding from October 2012 and continued through January 2014 to produce 10 progenies.

All bleeding heart pigeons and golden heart doves are part of a group of Australasian pigeons known as ground doves, known to be very faithful to their partners until death. If one dies, the other will look for another to pair up with. Upon becoming parents, both males and females will take turns to incubate the eggs. For the first few days of a chick’s life, the chick is fed crop milk produced by both genders. Once the chick is older, both parents will forage for food for the young. Ground doves are very caring, often preening each other and their chicks. They will also sun bathe together, strengthening the bond communally.

“To have 10 Luzon bleeding heart pigeon progenies available for release over a short span of two years is a remarkable achievement. This project was initiated with the aim of contributing to the recovery of this species in its natural habitat, and we look forward to developing more conservation projects for other endemic Philippine species. The success and the knowledge gained paves the way for Jurong Bird Park to engage in other similar regional conservation projects.” said Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Chief Life Science Officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

A pair of Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons arrived in the Bird Park from San Diego Zoo in September 2013, as part of an exchange programme. Although this pair was not known to be prolific breeders, they adjusted well to their new home and that a few weeks after their arrival, they laid one fertile egg, which hatched after an 18-day incubation period. Another fertile egg was laid just before Christmas last year, which also yielded a chick.

A first-ever breeding of Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk with a three month old chick.

A first-ever breeding of Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons in Jurong Bird Park, seen here at Heliconia Walk with a three month old chick.

A two-pronged scientific approach involving husbandry and diet was taken towards the successful breeding of the Luzon and Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons. The Luzon bleeding heart pigeons were placed in an off-site aviary with minimal human contact, while a specialised diet with increased protein levels was provided for added nutrients during breeding season. Although the Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons were placed in a visible public enclosure, the aviary was properly landscaped, which provided the birds with a heightened sense of security necessary for breeding. Similarly, they were also given a protein-rich diet during breeding season.

In addition to the successful hatchings, Jurong Bird Park will welcome two pairs of golden heart doves from Germany for breeding and conservation purposes. Endemic to Papua New Guinea, these birds are uncommon in institutions as it is a challenge obtaining birds from New Guinea due to governmental restrictions.

Come to Jurong Bird Park this February to see the Luzon bleeding heart pigeons at the South East Asian Exhibit, and the Mindanao bleeding heart pigeons at Heliconia Walk. Two pairs of golden heart doves will be on display from April at Window on Paradise. For more information, please visit www.birdpark.com.sg

DONNING THEIR SUNDAY BEST FOR VALENTINE DUCK-SHIP AT JURONG BIRD PARK

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Singapore, 3 February 2012 – There are similarities between the avian and human world. Amongst both parties, there are instances of monogamy. Cranes, penguins, hornbills and ducks are some of the avian species which practice monogamy.

Mandarin ducks, famed for being a symbol of fidelity and marriage in Chinese culture, are thought to be monogamous. At Jurong Bird Park, it is now breeding season for these 27 Mandarin ducks, and what is interesting when breeding season comes round is that the male ducks (drakes) don their Sunday best for courtship. From a drab-looking, brown-white plumage, the drake morphs into an iridescent colour palette of orange, brown, purple, green and blue to attract the female duck. Once a pair is established, mating takes place in the water, and a clutch of 8-12 eggs is laid, with an incubation period of 30 days.

Carolina wood ducks are also known to be a monogamous species. Likewise with the Mandarin ducks, all wood ducks sport similar earthy colour tones until breeding season starts. The drake then sports a glossy plumage of several shades of green, white and black, with a sleek crest to attract a mate. Eggs are laid in clutches of 7-15 with an incubation period of 30 days.

The adventurous Carolina wood ducks take courtship a step further, taking nightly strolls on their own from their exhibit at the Bird Park’s entrance into the Park under the cloak of darkness. They visit the Mandarin duck exhibit, some 300m away from the entrance. They have also made tracks for the Pools Amphitheatre, where twice daily shows are held, but unfortunately, as their journey takes place after park hours, Bird Park staff have told them firmly that they are too late for show auditions and auditions have closed. The wood ducks then quack in dismay at being herded away from the Pools Amphitheatre. No chance at fame tonight!

Whilst the ducks engage in mating rituals, couples to Jurong Bird Park on 14 February can also indulge in a premium package specially put together for Valentine’s, where Cupid’s Candlelight Dinner takes centrestage. The recently launched Penguin Coast plays host to lovers as they wine and dine on delectable dishes like the oven-baked Chilean Codfish, Wagyu Beef, and Blueberry Chocolate Chateau, right in front of an amazing penguin viewing gallery. A dining treat to be savoured, couples will get an up close experience and photo opportunities with a bird of prey appearance, and penguin feeding and commentary as they dine the night away in tuxedoed company.

Jurong Bird Park’s Cupid Candlelight Dinner
Date: 14 Feb 2012 (Tuesday)
Venue: Penguin Coast
Time: 7pm
Pricing: $208 + per couple

Charges include admission and dinner at Jurong Bird Park for two, and an exclusive couples gift.

Seats are limited, so do make those reservations early! For reservations, please call 6360 8560 during office hours or email event.sales@wrs.com.sg.

Starter: Lovers’ Lobster Salad - Lobster Medallion with Mango, Avocado, Water Chestnut, Sherry Vinegar Enhanced with Aged Balsamic topped with Garden Salad

Soup: “My Little Dumpling” Scallop Soup - Light Cream of Scallop Soup with Smoked Turkey Dumpling and US Asparagus served with Assorted Country Style Bread (Multi-grain and Olive Bread Roll)

Entrée: Cod My Heart - Oven Baked Marinated Chilean Codfish with Champagne Sauce, Pea Puree, Chateau Dauphinoise and Baby Vegetables

Entrée: Wild About Wagyu - Corn Fed Wagyu Beef with Merlot Jus, Pea Puree, Chateau Dauphinoise and Seasonal Vegetables

Dessert: Lust for Chocolate - Flavor Blueberry Chocolate Chateau Enhanced with Vanilla Sauce and Strawberry Sauce Finished with Glazed Fresh Fruit

Also included in the dinner menu package:
** Free flow of soft drinks, orange, pineapple and lime juice.
** Special gift for the couple.
** Bottle of sparkling wine.

MAKE A WILD DATE AT THE NIGHT SAFARI THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

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Singapore, 17 January 2012 – This Valentine’s Day, the Night Safari will help lovebirds ignite romance in the wild with its exclusive Valentine’s Day package.

This premium package invites lovers to wine and dine to their hearts’ content with the Cupid’s Candlelight Dinner amidst the rustic setting of Ulu Ulu Safari restaurant, followed by a romantic escapade into the wilderness of the Night Safari.

Couples will also enjoy a Lovers’ Lane priority tram boarding into the scenic wildlife park as well as VIP seating at the Creatures of the Night Show where they will experience a unique Valentine’s Day adventure like no other.

Served with love from Cupid’s kitchen, delectable dishes include Oven Baked Chilean Codfish, Wagyu Beef, and Blueberry Chocolate Chateau.

Night Safari Sweetheart Surprise Package
Date: 14 Feb 2012 (Tuesday)
Venue: Night Safari – Ulu Court
Time: 7pm
Pricing: $208 + per couple

Charges include admission and dinner at Night Safari for two, priority tram boarding, reserved seats for the Creatures of the Night Show and an exclusive couple gift.

For reservations, please call 6360 8560 during office hours or email event.sales@wrs.com.sg. Bookings made before 7th February 2012 will enjoy a 10% discount.

Lovers’ Lobster Salad - Lobster Medallion with Mango, Avocado, Water Chestnut, Sherry Vinegar Enhanced with Aged Balsamic topped with Garden Salad

“My Little Dumpling” Scallop Soup - Light Cream of Scallop Soup with Smoked Turkey Dumpling and US Asparagus served with Assorted Country Style Bread (Multi-grain and Olive Bread Roll)

Cod My Heart - Oven Baked Marinated Chilean Codfish with Champagne Sauce, Pea Puree, Chateau Dauphinoise and Baby Vegetables

Wild About Wagyu - Corn Fed Wagyu Beef with Merlot Jus, Pea Puree, Chateau Dauphinoise and Seasonal Vegetables

Lust for Chocolate - Flavor Blueberry Chocolate Chateau Enhanced with Vanilla Sauce and Strawberry Sauce Finished with Glazed Fresh Fruit

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