A world full of birds

The Bird Park in Kuala Lumpur is one of the largest aviaries in the world and a place not to be missed

A flock of yellow billed storks.

For nature-loving travellers, who feel ecstatic when surrounded by the flora and fauna, there is one more venue which they might never want to miss out on – the Bird Park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which claims to be one of the world’s largest aviaries.

Passing through a tastefully planned park where more than 3,000 birds are in command, flying or walking side by side with visitors, is a unique experience. Spread over 21 acres of land, the park is home to more than 200 species of birds that naturally come in all sizes, shades and types. The park is divided in such a manner that it is possible to look at hundreds of colourful fishes simultaneously, in the crystal clear waters of a constructed pond. Visitors often come across a freely roaming flamingo or pelican taking a leisurely stroll in the park.

Alongside the ticket booth and entrance gates is a huge map of the free-flight walk-in aviary park. A coloured print of the map is also provided to the visitors so that they may enjoy the complete package on offer. There is also a peacock gift shop at the entrance. The park is broadly divided into 4 zones. Zone 1 and 2 depict the birds and lush green plantation of the tropical rainforests. Balance of semi-natural ecosystem ensures that the visitors can catch a glimpse of the world’s largest pigeon species – the crowned pigeons, the blue peacock and the yellow-billed storks.

The lovebirds, parakeets, throng the Love Aviary; which is the name of one of the many small aviaries within the KL Park. The Love Aviary also contains cockatiels and budgerigars. 130 species of bulbul, silver pheasant, bluebird and golden-breasted starlings occupy the Bulbul land. There is a soothing Flamingo Pond and a Brahminy Land which hoard a number of local prey birds namely the brahminy kites.

Zone 2 has on offer the ostrich, baya weaver, scarlet ibis and Nicobar pigeon. Birds like ostriches that can be dangerous are separated from the visitors’ path in a way that these may not move about freely and be a cause of concern for the visitors. Zone 1 and 2 are interconnected via bridges.

The characteristic features of Zone 3 are the towering trees and the Hornbill Park. Different types of hornbill including oriental pied hornbill, blue magpie, hill myna and world’s largest hornbill, the rhinoceros hornbill inhabit this park; which also houses the picturesque, open-air Hornbill Restaurant and Café along with the souvenir gift shop to purchase some steeply-priced mementoes. There is a daily hornbill feeding session in the morning.

More than twenty types of parrots, including parakeets, macaws, lories and cockatoos, are present in Zone 4. Some of the world’s most endangered species of parrots are also on display here. Zone 4 also has an oriental bird aviary and waterfall aviary.

Some of the most exciting activities here ensure that all family members are party to it. One such family activity is a free amphitheatre, where 350 viewers can attend the open-air live show simultaneously, which takes place twice daily in the afternoon. The well-trained birds perform various tricks on stage, while to the delight of children and adults alike, they also fly from the stage to the audience and back on the instructions of the team conducting the show. There is also a Bird School and an Education Centre harbouring the Bird Gallery which focuses on children’s education with respect to bird anatomy, relevant interesting facts and history over the years which is even interesting for adults.

There is a Feathered Friends Photo Booth where you can get snapped for a certain amount with 10 of the best known species of parrots literally sitting on you, to capture a wonderful memory which they present to you in a KL Bird park themed frame. You can opt for milky stork feeding at the Waterfall Aviary, lory feeding or ostrich feeding all in Zone 4. At designated places, you may purchase the feeding cups ranging from RM 1 to RM 5 and the birds flutter in, to scoop the food from the cup while sitting on your hands, head and shoulders, making it a beautiful sight for any bird lover.

It is estimated that the KL Bird Park is visited by 200,000 people annually. The entrance ticket for adults is priced at RM 63. For children, it is RM 42 with different local discounts. The park opens at 9 in the morning closes in the evening, inclusive of all holidays. Visitors are likely to spend at least three hours in the KL Bird Park, hence it is good to plan accordingly. The park is easily accessible, and a few minutes ride from the city centre.

Kuala Lumpur, in particular, has a lot to offer like the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, KL Tower, Batu Caves, KL Galleria and the chocolate factories, among other places. But if you are an avid nature-lover then KL Bird Park should definitely to be there in your itinerary while grasping the sights and sounds of Kuala Lumpur. They, themselves, call it a ‘World full of spectacular birds and a tropical paradise’ – not to be missed!

The writer is a physician, health care leader and a traveller. He tweets @Ali_Shahid82

Bird Park in Kuala Lumpur is a place not to be missed