Singapore, 2 January 2013 – The breeding programme at Jurong Bird Park has been such a success that at least 95% of all the birds in the new High Flyers Show are hatched and raised in the Park.
“We are very proud of our breeding successes and having no lack of ‘local’ talent in the new Show. We feel like proud parents when we see these birds which we have hand raised from young showcasing their abilities to our guests from all over the world, and in doing so, inculcate in them an appreciation of conservation and avian life,” said Mr Raja Segran, General Manager, Jurong Bird Park.
The first show in Jurong Bird Park began 30 years ago, and was helmed by birds like Big John and Sammy the cockatoos, Rod Stewart the Egyptian vulture and Harry the hornbill. At that time, 30% of the birds in the Show were home-grown, with the rest acquired via exchanges with other institutions. The establishment of the Breeding & Research Centre (BRC) six years after the first show greatly boosted the Park’s avian numbers. On average, more than 300 chicks annually have successfully hatched at the BRC over the past 24 years.
“Whenever possible, we leave the eggs to the parents to incubate and raise, but in certain instances where the parent had a history of breaking their own eggs, or are young parents, is when we step in and bring the eggs to the BRC for hand-rearing. Eventually, some of these birds are used in the Show.” continued Mr Raja Segran.
Three birds from the Show did not hatch in Bird Park, but one of them came to be part of the Show through an interesting twist of events. When the BRC underwent renovation in 2011, workers found three barn owls residing in the darkest corner of the roof of the BRC. They hatched under the BRC’s roof, and their parents took off during the construction period. Keepers took the barn owl chicks under their wing and cared for them until they were ready to fledge. One of the chicks is affectionately named Mystic, and it will show off its prowess as a silent hunter of the night as it swoops to bring down a prey. The other two birds which did not hatch in Bird Park are Amigo and Quincy, both yellow-naped Amazons which are renowned for their ability at mimicry.
Be sure to make a date with ‘local’ talent of the feathered variety at the High Flyers show which happens twice daily, at 11.00am and 3.00pm at the Pools Amphitheatre in Jurong Bird Park. Normal admission applies to Jurong Bird Park (Adults $20; Child $13), but there is no fee required to watch the High Flyers Show.