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Jurong Bird Park: The Rise of Bird Paradise Singapore


Jurong Bird Park
Jurong Bird Park (Credit: Trawell)

While we all know about the popular Bird Paradise in Singapore, did you know about its rich history and humble beginnings? Jurong Bird Park, nestled in the western part of the island, has been enchanting visitors since its opening in 1971. As one of the first wildlife parks in the region, it has evolved into a world-class avian sanctuary, boasting an impressive collection of over 5,000 birds across 400 species. From vibrant macaws to majestic eagles, the park offers an immersive experience in the colorful world of avifauna, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and families alike. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating history, present and future of Jurong Bird Park. This iconic attraction in Singapore had been enchanting visitors for over 50 years. As we take a closer look at the past, we discover how Jurong Bird Park has evolved into what it is today, with its state-of-the-art facilities and innovative conservation efforts. In the present, we will present the various immersive experiences that visitors can enjoy, from close encounters with majestic birds to breathtaking shows and exhibits. Then, we will also take a peek into the future and discover the exciting developments that await. Read more for the evolution of Jurong Bird Park – a true gem of Singapore's wildlife experience.


What Is Jurong Bird Park?

For more than five decades, Jurong Bird Park had been a beloved aviary and tourist destination, showcasing the intricate beauty and diversity of birdlife throughout Asia and beyond. As the largest bird park of its kind on the continent, it boasted an impressive 49 acres of land on the steep slopes of Jurong Hill, making it a prime location for bird lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. Established in 1971, this avian paradise had been a sanctuary for thousands of exotic and rare bird species, offering visitors a glimpse into the diverse world of feathered creatures.


Managed by Mandai Wildlife Reserve, the same organization that oversees other popular Singapore attractions such as the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, visitors to Jurong Bird Park could expect a professional and friendly experience filled with awe-inspiring sights and enriching educational opportunities. With its closing in 3rd January 2023, it held the title of the world's largest bird park in terms of the number of birds, and second largest in both the number of bird species and land area. Boasting an impressive collection of 5,000 birds comprising of 400 different species, Jurong Bird Park was a true gem of Singapore.


The animals and exhibits at Jurong Bird Park formed an intricate tapestry of biodiversity. The sprawling aviaries were home to a stunning variety of bird species, each presented in its natural habitat. The vibrant plumage of parrots, the graceful flights of raptors, and the serene waters of the Flamingo Pool painted a vivid portrait of nature's artistic brilliance.


What set this park apart was its commitment to conservation. Behind the scenes, the Breeding and Research Centre played a vital role in safeguarding endangered species, contributing to the preservation of avian diversity. As visitors wandered through the thematic exhibits, they marveled at the intricate behaviors and adaptations that defined each species. From the captivating Penguin Coast to the impressive Birds of Prey showcase, every corner of the park was an educational program.


In retrospect, Jurong Bird Park was not just a place; it was a sanctuary of knowledge, a celebration of beauty, and a testament to the delicate interplay between humans and the avian world.


Jurong Bird Park
Jurong Bird Park (Credit: britannica)

Was Jurong Bird Park Worth Visiting?

Without a doubt, Jurong Bird Park was a destination that transcended mere amusement. It was a testament to the marvels of avian life, featuring breathtaking aviaries, immersive habitats, and educational programs that provided a deep understanding of the intricate relationships between birds and their ecosystems. The park offered a worthwhile experience that was both educational and awe-inspiring. To make things even more impressive, 24% of the birds within the park were of threatened species, the highest percentage of any zoo across the globe.


Jurong Bird Park
Jurong Bird Park (Credit: Timeout)

Activities Offered by Jurong Bird Park

The Jurong Bird Park offered a myriad of activities that catered to visitors of all ages. From informative guided tours that shed light on the park's conservation efforts to interactive feeding sessions that brought you up close and personal with some of the park's charismatic residents, there was no shortage of engaging experiences. Visitors didn't miss the captivating bird shows that showcased the intelligence and agility of these winged wonders. Additionally, the park's lush landscapes provided the perfect backdrop for leisurely strolls and tranquil moments of connection with nature.


Jurong Bird Park
Jurong Bird Park (Credit: Visit Singapore)

What Happened to Jurong Bird Park?

The Jurong Bird Park had been a beloved attraction for bird lovers in Singapore since it first opened its doors in 1971. However, as time passed, there was a growing need to provide more space for the birds and other wildlife that called the park home. Hence, the Mandai Wildlife Group announced in 2016 that the park would be relocated to a much larger space at Mandai Lake Road, an integrated nature and wildlife precinct known as the Mandai Wildlife Reserve.


Why Did Jurong Bird Park Permanently Close?

The permanent closure of the Jurong Bird Park marked the end of an era for its original location. However, this decision was driven by a greater purpose—in order to ensure its long-term sustainability and the enhancement of its offerings. The closure was a bittersweet step toward the park's evolution and growth, focusing on preserving avian diversity while embracing modern standards of animal care and conservation. On January 3, 2023, Jurong Bird Park ceased operations in preparation for its relocation to Mandai. A remarkable number of 2,600 visitors swarmed the park, surpassing the typical daily attendance of 2,000 individuals.


The park had been recognized with various prestigious awards for successfully breeding endangered species such as the Great Hornbill, Black Hornbill, Twelve-wired Bird-of-Paradise, Straw-headed Bulbul, and Santa Cruz Ground-dove. As the park prepared to relocate to the Mandai Wildlife Reserve and opened a new bird park called Bird Paradise in May 2023, ensuring the utmost care will be given to the 3,500 birds currently housed there. The newly established Bird Paradise will complement the existing attractions, including the Singapore Zoo, River Wonders, and Night Safari, as well as the upcoming Rainforest Wild and a new resort within the site.


Staff members of Jurong Bird Park before its closure
Staff members of Jurong Bird Park before its closure (credit: Nuria Ling/TODAY)

Why Was Jurong Bird Park Moving?

The move of the Jurong Bird Park was prompted by a commitment to progress and innovation. The new location promises larger and more advanced aviaries, enhanced research facilities, and a heightened focus on immersive bird conservation efforts. This strategic decision reflects the park's dedication to creating an even more enriching and sustainable environment for both the birds and the visitors.


When Does Jurong Bird Park Reopen?

After a year of planning and four months of moving, Jurong Bird Park is ready to take flight again, this time in its new home at Bird Paradise by Mandai Wildlife Reserve. With 400 species of 3,500 birds, this state-of-the-art park promises to be a bird lover's paradise. The new park is the result of careful thought and planning, ensuring that the birds have everything they need to thrive in their new surroundings. The new park opened its doors on May 8, 2023.


Where is Jurong Bird Park Now?

The Jurong Bird Park's new location is eagerly awaited by its admirers. Bird Paradise is located within the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, in close proximity to the Singapore Zoo, River Wonders, and the Night Safari. It is nestled just off Mandai Lake Road, and if you're driving, the recommended parking location is the West Node car park. The park is set to rise in a more expansive and purpose-built environment that caters to the well-being of the birds and the enjoyment of its visitors. The new setting is a testament to the commitment to creating a harmonious space where avian life can thrive and where visitors can be inspired by the wonders of the natural world.


Map of Bird Paradise
Map of Bird Paradise (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Bird Paradise Entrance
Bird Paradise Entrance (Credit: ZooChat)

Immersive Aviaries and Themed Zones at Bird Paradise

Bird Paradise is divided into ten themed zones, each meticulously designed to replicate the native habitats of over 400 bird species. Step inside and embark on a journey of discovery at every turn. Experience immersive and naturalistic mixed-species habitats, including eight expansive walk-through aviaries showcasing different regions of the world.


Heart of Africa

The Heart of Africa is a captivating aviary, populated by over 800 birds that thrive in a design inspired by the lush forests of Africa. Picture yourself amidst meandering streams and mature vegetation, encountering magnificent African species such as the great blue turaco, superb starling, and blue-bellied roller. As you explore this remarkable exhibit, you'll have the opportunity to traverse suspension bridges at the canopy level, relax at the Congolese pavilions, and enjoy a breathtaking view from the observation tower. Don't miss the daily feeding sessions at 9:30 am and 2 pm, where you can personally feed mealworms and fruit to the starlings, rollers, and turacos.


Heart of Africa
Heart of Africa (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Wings of Asia

Experience a serene paradise inspired by Southeast Asian habitats, such as rice field terraces. Step into this inviting haven, where thriving aquatic species like Australian pelicans, black-faced spoonbills, and milky storks captivate your senses. Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of tall bamboo groves and paddy terraces, where fascinating birds of Asia, including hornbills and spoonbills, await your discovery.


Balinese Inspired Terraced Rice Fields
Balinese Inspired Terraced Rice Fields (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Songs of the Forest

When you enter Songs of the Forest, the melodious symphony of its inhabitants will let you know you have arrived. You will encounter various species of singing songbirds from Asia, such as the Bali myna, straw-headed bulbul, and Victoria crowned pigeon. While exploring, take a moment to appreciate the tranquil streams and serene greenery, which draw inspiration from the riverine forests of Southeast Asia.


Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group
Song of the Forest (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Lory Loft

Experience the upgraded Lory Loft at Bird Paradise. Step into a vast space inspired by Irian Jaya's monsoon forest, where you'll find delightful lories and captivating parrots. From the vibrant green-naped lory to the stunning rainbow lorikeet, more than 10 species await you in this lively aviary. Don't miss the feeding sessions at 11am and 3.30pm daily, where you can personally feed these charming birds with cups of sweet nectar. Explore and enjoy the amazing world of the Lory Loft!


Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group
Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group

Penguin Cove

Penguin Cove is the first fully opened zone at Bird Paradise! Explore this multi-level indoor habitat, which stretches from deep blue underwater ice formations to rocky beaches where four penguin species reside. You'll encounter the gentoo penguin, king penguin, Humboldt penguin, and northern rockhopper penguin. Don't miss the state-of-the-art zone where you can observe the penguins waddling under a domed sky with the projection of Aurora Australis surrounding them.


King Penguins
King Penguins (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Winged Sanctuary

At Winged Sanctuary, you'll find an incredible collection of hornbills, along with other remarkable residents such as the Brahminy Starling, Santa Cruz Ground Dove, Maleo, and Philippine Eagle. It aims to showcase rare and predatory birds of high conservation value, providing a safe haven for these magnificent creatures. Explore the park and discover the beauty and importance of these unique species.



Winged Sanctuary
Winged Sanctuary (Credit: Zoochat)

Australian Outback

At Australian Outback, you can encounter the emu, the second largest living bird in the world. As you explore the stunning landscape with its towering rock structures and lush greenery, you might be delighted to hear the distinctive laughs of kookaburras and spot the cleverly disguised tawny frogmouth, blending perfectly with the tree branches. This aviary is also home to other fascinating Australian species, including the red-tailed cockatoo and the straw-necked ibis. Enjoy this immersive experience and discover the wonders of the Outback!


Magpie Goose
Magpie Goose (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Mysterious Papua

Come and explore the captivating avian residents of New Guinea and its neighboring islands at Mysterious Papua. You will encounter magnificent birds such as crowned pigeons and the cassowary as you wander through this remarkable aviary. Notably, it is also where you will discover the world's largest population of blue-eyed cockatoos in human care. You can also experience the beauty of the coastal forests of lowland Papua in this captivating aviary. Marvel at the stilt roots of different pandan species and explore pavilions inspired by the houses of the Korowai tribe.


Houses of the Korowai Tribe
Houses of the Korowai Tribe (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Amazonian Jewels

Explore the breathtaking habitat of Amazonian Jewels, where you can witness a stunning variety of avian species thriving in the lush Amazon rainforest. Encounter mesmerizing winged creatures like the golden parakeet, saffron toucanet, and crested quail dove amidst the vibrant Amazonian flora. Not only will you be captivated by the diverse birdlife, but you'll also have the chance to admire majestic buttress roots, distinct ficus trees, and other plant species native to South American rainforests. Step into this extraordinary world and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature's wonders.


Amazonian Jewels
Amazonian Jewels (Credit: Zoo Chat)

Crimson Wetlands

Explore the vibrant Crimson Wetlands, a magnificent aviary that captures the essence of South American wetlands. Immerse yourself in the beauty of iconic species like the scarlet macaw and blue-throated macaw, as well as the captivating avian friends such as the scarlet ibis and American flamingo. Did you know that the Bird Paradise team visited the renowned Juan Curi waterfall while designing this compound? Discover the unique personalities and behaviors of the macaws through informative keeper talks held daily at 12pm.


Crimson Wetlands(Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)
Crimson Wetlands

Activities You Can Do at Bird Paradise

To enhance your experience at Bird Paradise, we recommend participating in the following activities.


Feed the Animals

Experience an up-close encounter with magnificent birds during exclusive feeding sessions! Every contribution from the proceeds will go directly towards supporting the ongoing wildlife conservation efforts in the region.


Feeding the Birds
Feeding the Birds (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Keepers Talk

Enjoy informative and entertaining live commentary from knowledgeable keepers, accompanied by up-close encounters while feeding the birds.


Keepers Talk
Keepers Talk (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Presentations

Join the captivating presentations showcasing the remarkable talents of the talented avian companions, alongside the skilled trainers, at Bird Paradise.


Presentation
Presentation (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Wildlife Experiences

Embark on a captivating walking tour accompanied by your own wildlife guide to gain profound knowledge about the park's fascinating avian inhabitants. This exclusive experience offers valuable insights into the charismatic world of birds. Prepare for an immersive encounter that promises up-close and personal interactions.


Wildlife Experiences
Wildlife Experiences (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

For Kids

There are a multitude of enjoyable activities awaiting kids! From having a splashing good time at Egg Splash to bouncing on trampolines at Treetops Play, guaranteed smiles and laughter are ensured!

Remark: Temporarily Closed


For Kids
For Kids (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Dining

At Bird Paradise, you can have a wide range of dining options to choose from, including indulging in a buffet with penguins and savoring local favorites. You can rest assured that the restaurant guarantees pork-free and lard-free food, and sources its seafood sustainably.


Dining
Dining (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Shopping

Visit the gift shops at Bird Paradise for purchasing souvenirs to commemorate your visit. At the checkout, you can have the option to acquire a small-sized reusable non-woven bag for S$1.00 or a medium-sized one for S$1.50. By making this small contribution, you will actively contribute to reducing plastic waste and supporting wildlife conservation efforts in the region.


Shopping at Bird Paradise
Shopping at Bird Paradise (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Conservations Efforts by Bird Paradise

Bird Paradise Singapore, in line with Mandai Wildlife Parks' core mission, serves as a prominent platform for avian conservation efforts that contribute towards the protection and preservation of wildlife species. The park boasts top-notch support facilities, which include a state-of-the-art avian hospital and an extensive breeding facility, fostering remarkable initiatives to safeguard endangered bird species across the region. Within the park, Winged Sanctuary stands as a dedicated zone for high conservation value birds, housing some of the world's most critically endangered species such as the Philippine Eagle, Vietnam Pheasant, and Negros Bleeding-heart. This zone offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness these exceptionally rare birds up close.


Furthermore, Bird Paradise is proud to house the world's largest genetic reserve of Hornbills under human care, encompassing over 20 species. In addition to the captivating display of Hornbills, the park also focuses on the preservation of Southeast Asian songbirds. More than half of these songbird species are currently classified as threatened in their natural habitat. Bird Paradise is committed to creating an unparalleled experience while championing avian conservation and protection.


Conservation efforts
Conservation efforts (Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group)

Past, Present and Future of Jurong Bird Park

Jurong Bird Park has evolved from its humble beginnings to become a beacon of avian conservation and education. Its journey of change and growth reflects a commitment to the welfare of the birds it houses and the enhancement of visitor experiences. As the park prepared to spread its wings in a new location, the anticipation was palpable. With a storied past, a transformative present, and a promising future, Jurong Bird Park continues to inspire awe and appreciation for the intricate beauty of the feathered friends.


Plan Your Visit

Before embarking on your avian adventure to the Bird Paradise, we would like to provide you with a few practical tips:


Timing: Plan your visit during the morning hours when the birds tend to be more active, and the weather is typically cooler.


Tickets and Prices: To save time and ensure entry, especially during peak tourist seasons, we recommend purchasing tickets online in advance. The ticket prices are as follows: S$48 for adults, S$33 for children, and S$20 for seniors. For more information, please visit here.


Opening Hours: The park is open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.


Comfort: Ensure you wear comfortable footwear and clothing as the park involves a fair amount of walking.


Camera: Don't forget to bring your camera to capture those breathtaking moments with the birds.


Conclusion

We sincerely hope that these tips will greatly enhance your experience at the Bird Paradise! If you are planning a trip to Singapore, we highly recommend checking out our comprehensive guide Secrets of Marina Bay. Additionally, we have created a helpful Know Before You Go page, which is filled with valuable tips on how to live like a local and discover must-see attractions. But wait, there's more! We have a wide range of engaging blogs that offer exciting insights and adventures. Dive into our blogs to expand your knowledge and delve deeper into the fascinating facts about Singapore. Enjoy your journey of discovery with us!


Planning A Visit?

Thinking of visiting Singapore? Want to ensure your trip is unforgettable? Let Monster Day Tours be your guide! Immerse yourself in the rich history, diverse culture, and tantalizing cuisine of Singapore with our small group tours. Explore local hotspots, uncover hidden gems, and experience the vibrant tapestry of this dynamic city-state. Let us craft an experience that will linger in your memory and offer fresh insights into life's wonders.


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