Monday, August 15, 2011

Revisiting Jurong Bird Park in 2011

The first time I went to Jurong Bird Park was with my husband, a few weeks after my first ever visit to Singapore in 2000. The second time was when the whole family was already here in Singapore, a year or so after. With the second child in, we didn't really have the chance to visit the park again. Not until now, when our younger son is almost 7 years old! Thank goodness for winning the balloting after a year (to get the Jurong Bird Park Pass :) ).

From our place we had to take the NEL to Outram Park Station, transferred to East-West Line (Green Line) to Boon Lay Station, then took bus 194 at Boon Lay Interchange going to Jurong Bird Park. It's quite a long trip since Jurong is on the western side of the island while we live on the north-eastern part but the kids didn't mind. They love riding the MRT and the bus and going to new bus interchanges to get bus numbers (yes, my younger son is still collecting bus number brochures).

When we arrived at the JBP (short form for Jurong Bird Park) around 1030am, we followed the crowd to get to the main entrance. We breezed thru the admission gates, just showing the park pass and hubby's company ID.Then we were torn between eating lunch first or watching the first show which was at 11am (Birds n Buddies Show). We decided to watch the show first, explore nearby bird enclosures and then have lunch after. I think it was a good choice as there was less crowd as compared to the shows in the afternoon.

a few birds just after the main entrance
Also a place where visitors can take their photos with these lovely birds (of course, for a fee).

two bird maskots fighting it out at the start of the show :)

first part of the show - a parade of the pink flamingos

one of the birds ready to fly from the right side of the theater .....

... towards the host in the middle of the stage

as part of the show, volunteers were asked to stand and serve as "landing strips" for the birds. 
This brave lady was the first among several volunteers throughout the show.

an interesting segment was the contest between these two birds. 
The first one to put all the balls in the hole on the tree wins!

the one on the right was faster. But then there was a second heat and the bird on the left won!

the second volunteer - this time in commemoration of National Day, the bird carried the Singapore flag on its beak from the stage to the middle of the theatre to the palm of this volunteer. Then it left the flag there, turned around and flew back to the stage.

birds in flight - an exhibition of their ability to fly into the hoops. In this photo, the two birds met in the middle hoop and took turns going into the hoop.

another trick by the lovely colored bird - passing thru a hoop with paper

it approached the hoop.....

... and carefully broke through the paper

bald headed eagle mascot staring at the stage

then it was the turn of these giant birds to take the stage

last few pieces of fish to eat and they were off the stage

this is the part I enjoyed the most (aside from the fly-by). This bird could really sing!

walking to our next bird enclosure

a family of birds that stuck together

this one seemed to be gargling

drying its wings after taking a dip into the water

mother and child?

the largest bird eggs (these ones were fake though)

a very colorful bird - the Mandarin Duck

hubby entered this picture into a photo contest which we saw upon exiting the park
These birds are so lovely colored I thought I saw a floating wooden bird on the water!

Ira's favorite birds - the penguins

we were wondering what's with this one. Is it molting? Is it sick? I hope it's just ok.

After going to the penguin exhibit. We decided to take our lunch first. We walked back to the entrance, got our arms "chopped" which meant we intended to go back inside the park after lunch. We had lunch at the Hawk Cafe. They had a promo for the chicken rice meal for the month of August. Great! 

After lunch, we had a glimpse of what the shops had to offer. No shopping though.

Then we continued exploring the park, this time taking a walk on the eastern side of the park.

the Flamingo Lake

stopped by at this "Human" cage for photo op

an enclosure for the "most dangerous creature" - Homo Sapiens
My son asked, "what's that?" I said, "It's US!"

monkeying around

we continued our walk to the Pelican Cove after this short break

passed by the gorgeous Mandarin ducks for the second time

Hubby enjoyed watching and taking photos of these large birds

bath time

enjoying the water in this very hot day

I was standing in front of what the part described as the wingspan of the bird

we ended our walk at this Man-made waterfalls

African exhibit just along the walkway from the waterfalls

Ira loved playing with the drums and forced his Kuya (older brother in Filipino) to play the drums with him

trying to be one of the natives

I wonder how they could carry this when it's full. It's really heavy!

saying goodbye to the African exhibit before we headed back to the Hawk Walk to watch the second show for the day - Kings of the Skies.

I think the show this year was quite different from the one I've watched almost a decade ago. It's a good sign though that the park is continuously changing its presentations.
the show told a story of how the Hawks were used all throughout the history - from the Mongolians to the Arabs

the snowy owl

a volunteer during the show

she didn't show any fear at all!

ending our exploration of the Jurong Bird Park

an animal lost in the bird park??? NO! 

Ira's favorite pose with the cows

good cow...

our last glimpse of the birds. These ones were quite defensive. A slight movement of your hand near them and they are ready to plant those sharp beaks into your skin!

goodbye, bird park. Ira enjoyed the trip a lot (except for the heat while walking around).

For more details visit Jurong Bird Park.

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