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Upclose encounters at KL bird park
Tucked 10 minutes away from the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur city nestles no ordinary bird park. Carpeted in lush greenery, it is touted as the world’s largest free-flight walk-in aviary home to over 3,000 local and foreign birds. The park is divided into four zones, among them are for free-flight birds and hornbills.
Upon entering the park, visitors will be greeted by the cuddly lovebirds at the Love Aviary. It’s one of the ‘you-don’t-need-to-be-a-nature-lover-to-appreciate-this’ moment to witness how playful a pair of lovebirds can be.
There is an overwhelming sense to walk among diverse species of birds, especially when we don't get the pleasure to see them upclose in our daily lives. Usually, tame egrets, Western Crowned pigeons and peacocks will walk alongside visitors and stop for food at their own convenience at the plentiful feeding points. Early-bird visitors will be able to experience the bird feeding demonstration where birds get unbelievably close to the feeder and also visitors.
On the way to the the Flamingo Pond, I was told by the marketing and promotion executive Taufik Mohd Sharif that the park receives daily average of 1,000 visitors comprising majority of families and tourists. He then explained to me about flamingos and how they rest, which is by standing with one leg. At that point, we managed to catch a glimpse of pelicans flying towards its nests. Taufik added that it is part of KL Bird Park's effort to educate visitors about avians' natural breeding.
At the Hornbill Park, it automatically became a hide and seek game as eager visitors looked up and searched for the Rhinoceros Hornbill, which is also the park’s mascot. Luck was on our side as the hornbill rested effortlessly near us. It was a breathtaking moment indeed. Other types of hornbills can be found in the same area.
Next, we proceeded to the the famous spot at the park which is the World of Parrots, a mini aviary designed to accommodate various species of parrots such as macaws, cockatoos, lories and parakeets.
Spanish couple, Oskar and Ainara (pictured above) said they had never been so close to birds as in the aviary.
“We could see them upclose, caress and feed them here. This is something we’ve never experienced before and we really love it.”
Families with fearless children took the opportunity to feed the macaws with milk and sunflower seeds provided by the park. The macaws will then find a resting spot on visitors’ hands and shoulders while feasting.
Visitors who are up for some action can head to the Amphitheater for the daily Bird Show at 12.30 and 3.30pm. While waiting for the show to start, we made our way to the flightless bird areas where ostriches and native Papua New Guinean cassowaries are separately placed. Cassowaries may look harmless but they're one of the world's most dangerous birds that can kill when attacking with their sharp claws.
Located not too far from the flightless birds area, he Bird Gallery is part of the conservation and education to visitors as skeleton of ostrich and birds preservation can be found.
As the clock hits 12.30pm, visitors gathered at the semi-open air Amphitheater for the Bird Show. It kicked off with a flight demonstration by Scarlett Macaws called Popeye, Ringo and Shanti. With an eyesight seven times sharper than humans, audience was taken aback with their talents in mathematics and educating the audience about wildlife and the importance of recycling. What a better way to end the show then having parrots bidding us goodbye in English?
Seated among the audience was Hasniyah Lazim, a mother of four from Terengganu, who was impressed with the show and satisfied with the recommendation by her relatives to make a trip to the park. It was also a way to introduce various species of birds to her kids instead of viewing it on television.
Ahmad Alyami, an Arab native who was in the city for a business trip, took the chance to bring his children and wife to the park and told how much his children enjoyed feeding the macaws at the mini aviary.
Looking back, the Bird Park has reminded us of the adventure offered by the world and how precious life is with the colours of wildlife and the pleasure that stems from it. I knew I hit two birds with one stone when I was introduced to new avian species and also made friends with an adorable trained white macaw named Albert, who stepped on my hand, looked at me in the eye and greeted in fluent Malay, "Hello, apa khabar?". Now that's something you don't see everyday.
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