Photo Guide to the Bird Life in and around Cairns, in Northeast Australia
THIS WEBSITE WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDED AS A CRITICAL REVIEW AND COMPARISON -- a comparison of the Kuala Lumpur (KL) Bird Park and the more famous Jurong Bird Park in Singapore, to the south. It seems that like myself, Asian people are bird-lovers, and this is evidenced by the preponderance of covered bird aviaries across Asia. The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park boasts the largest covered, walk-through aviaries in the world, and after walking through it in the oppressive Malaysian heat, I can attest to its enormous size. Impressive as that might be, I have to conclude that compared to Jurong Bird Park in Singapore, there is no comparison.
Comparing Jurong Bird Park and KL Bird Park is, well, like comparing LA Disneyland and some little theme park in the American Mid-West. When it comes to mind-staggering diversity, color and beauty, Jurong Bird Park is king. But Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is cool in its own shabby, tropical way (much like the rest of Kuala Lumpur!)
According to the official Kuala Lumpur Bird Park website: "The aviary sprawls across 8 acres of verdant valley terrain. Here, for the first time in Malaysia, bird lovers can have a field day watching more than 3000 birds perching and winging about freely-in a totally natural and beautifully landscaped enviroment."
Impressions of Malaysia catalogues the range of birdlife you can expect to find at the KL Bird Park: "Hornbills, Flamingos, Parrots, Cockatoos, Storks, Pheasants, Mynahs Pigeons, Macaws. Ducks, Waterhens and more feathered citizens and ambassadors gathered together from countries like Australia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Indonesia, Tanzania, China Holland, Africa, South America, South East Asia and of course, Malaysia.
"While the birds are allowed to fly freely, the incompatatible species are confined in Display Aviaries and specially designed open exhibits. Some of these enclosures also house samplings of the other species for those who wish to admire them at close quarters."
m a l a y s i a n + s h a b b i n e s s
I HATE TO BE CRUEL, BUT SINCE MALAYSIA AS A NATION IS ALWAYS CROWING ABOUT HOW ADVANCED IT IS THESE DAYS -- how it is destined to become a fully developed nation by 2020 and so on -- well, I have to come out and say that this can be one shabby nation! The shabbiness extends to the grounds of the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, which seems worn out and faded compared to the high-tech glitz of the Jurong Bird Park. For example, one my last trip to Jurong Bird Park I caught a performance show where parrots are handed microphones and proceed to sing songs in a couple of different languages (English, Cantonese, Tamil, they even do a birdy rendition of the Japanese classic Sakura! At Kuala Lumpur Bird Park they also do a parrot show which I watched with a Spanish guy I had met while traversing the grounds. The Spanish guy was amazed that the parrots can count and perform simple arithmetic problems, ride a skateboard or mini bicycle, and complete other puzzles. It is true -- parrots are smart, I am convinced that they know how to count. However, watching the KL show in the shabby little ampitheatre, surrounded by the rust and peeling paint, I couldn't help thinking; This is good, but I have seen it all before! If Kuala Lumpur wants to compete they should give the birds microphones, and teach them how to sing!
Anyway, enough negativity -- if you are in Kuala Lumpur I recommend that you definitely check out this place, it is one of the best things in the city. The park is situated in the vast green belt which surrounds central KL, and is located near the Butterfly Park. It is open daily from 9am to 6.30pm.
There, you have my opinion of how Kuala Lumpur Bird Park compares with Jurong Bird Park in Singapore. If you want to see what condition the toilets at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park are in, and how they compare with urinals from around the world, visit this lofty site.