A Very Rainy Ramble through Jurong Bird Park

It’s a federal holiday in the US, which means that Mark had a holiday from work. Since the kids have been home since the beginning of June and have not really done much of anything, I decided to book a family outing.

The destination: Jurong Bird Park.

I first visited Jurong Bird Park in 1996 when my first US Navy ship pulled into Singapore for a week’s port visit. I loved that first visit, and I wanted to see the Park again before its scheduled move to another part of Singapore later this year.

So I booked the first ticket time of the day, 8:30AM. The temperatures have soared to record highs over the last few weeks, so I figured that an early morning visit would minimize our time in the heat.

Then I woke up to this radar image.

So the good news is that it was not too hot! The bad news is that instead it was a little…..damp. But also not crowded!

So we set off on the tram and started wandering the mostly-empty park. The enclosures and hillsides looked vaguely familiar from my visit many years ago, and I enjoyed roaming about, reading up on different birds, and doing my best to snap a few photos despite the iPhone’s insistence on focusing on the metal grates of the enclosures.

African Treetops was hands down our favorite section. After walking through a series of doors and heavy beaded curtains, we emerged into a network of catwalks and gently swinging rope bridges to watch birds feed up close. The gentle rain and thin crowds made the birds’ singing echo even more loudly.

Mid-morning we popped over to our pre-booked penguin feeding. We all had fond memories of feeding the wallabies and kangaroos at Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park during spring break, and I hoped to recreate the magic of that experience.

Feeding the penguins was…..fine. Prior to our visit I purchased three portions, the maximum remaining for our time slot. Each portion consisted of a tray with three fish on it. We learned that we could not wear gloves and simply held the fish by the tail to feed the penguins–at which point Tessa volunteered to act as the family photographer. The three fish disappeared rather quickly and anticlimactically.

On our way out we noticed the cafe and wondered if they would serve…it….at a bird park. Yep.

Chicken.

Using the online ticket system as a guide, it looks like the Bird Park remain in Jurong through August. Sometime after that the animals will relocate to their new home at the renamed Bird Paradise in the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, very close to our home.

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