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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.

RED-FRONTED MACAWS AND HORNBILL CHICKS ADD TO THE JOY THIS BREEDING SEASON AT JURONG BIRD PARK

Singapore, 12 July 2010 – It’s a full house, as far as the breeding season goes, at the Jurong Bird Park, with successful hatchings by four different species of birds, one of which is highly endangered. The park, which is the world’s largest bird park and one of four wildlife attractions by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), the others being Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and the upcoming River Safari, recently hatched four red-fronted macaws, a great pied hornbill, an oriental pied hornbill and a black hornbill. The hatchings are part of an on-going award-winning breeding programme at the park, which is dedicated to the conservation of avian species.

“We are thrilled to welcome a nest-full of chicks into the park. The last hatching for the red-fronted macaw was 10 years ago. This time round, we had the rare occasion of having four eggs in one clutch, and we have successfully hatched all four eggs, which is quite an achievement,” said Mr Raja Segran, General Curator, Jurong Bird Park. “To add to the joy, we also welcomed three hornbill chicks, which greatly aid our ex-situ conservation efforts for these enigmatic species. Our award-winning breeding programme is a clear demonstration of our role and capabilities in the preservation of avian biodiversity.”

The red-fonted macaw is a highly endangered parrot species native to the mountainous area of south-central Bolivia. They are captured for the illegal pet trade and coupled with rapid habitat destruction, there are only a few hundred of them left in the wild.

Breeding season for the hornbills takes place annually from November to May the following year. Visitors to the Bird Park during this time may be able to catch a glimpse of the sealed-in nestbox, which typically signifies that the female hornbill and her eggs are in there. A narrow slit is left for the male hornbill to feed the female and eventually the chicks, until the female and chicks break out of the sealed-in nestbox. The great pied hornbill is the heaviest Asian hornbill and is notoriously difficult to breed in captivity, due to their extreme selectivity for mates, as well as the long and strong pair bonds they form. It is listed as a threatened species because of hunting and habitat loss. The oriental pied hornbill was last sighted in Singapore more than 150 years ago, but it was only recently that they were once again sighted in 1994. They are the only truly wild hornbills found here. The black hornbill is a common species of hornbill found in various parts of Asia, such as Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

A recipient of many firsts, the Bird Park was the first globally to successfully breed the black hornbill in captivity in 1995. The Bird Park was also the first in the world to breed the Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise in captivity and received the Breeders’ Award from the American Pheasant and Waterfowl Society in 2001.  They were also a recipient of the Conservation & Research Award for Oriental Pied Hornbill Conservation Project by IV International Symposium on Breeding Birds in Captivity in 2006.

Courtesy of Bjorn Olesen - Our newly hatched red-fronted macaw hatchlings
An oriental pied hornbill at Jurong Bird Park
A row of black hornbills at Jurong Bird Park