Just getting there already feels like an adventure, driving up the winding road lined with gigantic and ancient-looking rainforest trees. Approaching the entrance to the bird park, you start getting excited seeing the park’s Hornbill Restaurant, designed to look like a traditional Malay house, and set against towering coconut trees and other green topiary, hinting at all the tropical beauties awaiting us beyond the ticket checkpoint. It’s a sight to behold, and you can’t believe that this sanctuary for our feathered friends is just about 10-minute’s drive away from the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur Golden Triangle.
The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park takes up about 8.5 hectares of land in the 60-hectare Lake Gardens, which also includes the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park, a hibiscus garden, a deer park, the National Monument, and a recreational park with a large artificial lake and a huge playground area.
Similarly, you could probably get all your 10,000 daily steps in just walking around the KL Bird Park, as the paths take you through the four zones of the park, including into the free-flight walk- in aviary, which is said to be one of the biggest in the world. Thus, not wanting to miss even one little budgerigar out of about 3,000 birds from about 200 species that call the park home, my family and I faithfully stayed on the path and traverse the zones one by one.
The first zone we walk into houses the free-flight walk-in aviary. This means that none of the birds here is caged as they fly, walk and waddle as freely as they please, just as they would in their natural habitat. Meanwhile, we as visitors are also free to walk around or walk up as close as possible to all the birds, and even touch and pet them if they don’t fly or run away.
It’s a truly surreal feeling, walking amongst so many different kinds of birds of all shapes, colours and sizes. We feel as if we’re in a land governed by birds, or in the movie; Rio. You get to see just what birds do in their daily routines - which apparently includes songbirds sitting and chirping all day - and how they react to each other as well as humans. If you’re here with your children and it’s their first time in a bird aviary like this, this would truly be an eye-opening experience, something that might make them think more about the wonders of life and nature.
In the first zone is where we meet the magnificent Indian Blue Peacock. In fact, there are a few of them roaming around and you’ll be meeting one at different points of your walkaround. Get your cameras ready because the peacock will definitely flaunt its feathers and fan out its gorgeous tail when it senses an audience. Of course, we snapped as many pictures as we could, including a few selfies with the majestic beauty in the back, and already we feel as if the ticket price was worth it. And that’s just the first big bird we came upon!
Nearby, there are also some beautiful crowned pigeons, with their own royal accessory, and mesmerising in their own way with feathers in a beautiful shade of purple-blue-grey. These pigeons are the largest pigeon species in the world, originating in the island of New Guinea and it was exciting to be able to see them right in front of our eyes.
Zone 1 also houses smaller birds including lovebirds, parakeets and cockatiels, and it’s an absolute delight to just watch these little creatures chirp, peck at food, fly around, waddle on the ground - just basically living life as intended in nature, and there’s just no better word to describe them other than ‘cute’!
Finally, we come upon the flamingo pond, the birds being one of our girls’ favourite. Although the flamingos here are not as pink as we’re accustomed to associating them with, they are still a sight to behold, especially when they flock together. Meanwhile, the pond is also home to pelicans, storks and ibises, so it’s a beautiful sight to cherish as all the water birds congregating in one location.
Just when we thought that seeing a flock of flamingos hanging around on one leg in the pond was already something... until we saw the scarlet ibis. Entering Zone 2, we saw more beautifully-coloured pigeons, which we initially thought were a unique species of chicken, but it turns out that these are actually Nicobar pigeons. These pigeons wear feathers of different colours, mostly in blue, green, grey and some in orange-brown. They look like peacocks without the voluminous tails. We also see many small birds in many different colours flying around, and it’s simply an enjoyable stroll around the park.
Then, I saw a scarlet ibis. Its deep red plumage catching my attention but the bird moved away quickly and soon disappeared into some foliage. I had no idea what it was at the time, but I hope to meet up with it again up ahead and we did! As we then came across a family of scarlet ibises resting and feeding. We took our time to observe the beautiful creatures and took pictures, and then went to explore the rest of the park.
Next up is Zone 3, which has been designated as the Hornbill Park. There are various hornbill species which could be found in the park including Malaysia’s Rhinoceros Hornbill that originates from the Bornean state of Sarawak. It is challenging to get a photo of it, as these tropical birds seem to steer away from humans as much as possible. However, we spotted one or two hornbills every once in a while, and it’s good enough to just be able to see the “King of Birds” in Malaysia as the people of Sarawak call them. You could just stay on one spot and wait until one of the hornbills come into view, but we wanted to keep walking to check out what other birds reside in this zone. We then saw a smaller species of hornbill, which apparently is the Oriental Pied Hornbill, as well as the channel-billed toucan and blue magpies. We also wanted to catch the bird show that goes on at 3.30pm, since we missed the 12.30pm one, so we couldn’t stay at one spot for too long.
We have seen a few parrots fly around in the aviary at Zones 1 and 2, but Zone 4 is really where these colourful birds are properly housed. Here, we learned about different kinds of parrots and as we learnt, we realised that what we know as macaws, cockatoos and parakeets actually belongs in the “parrot” family. The colourful large parrot with a hooked beak and can be taught to speak is actually called macaws. I vaguely remember reading or seeing something about this, but since it’s rarely acknowledged, I must have forgotten those facts. Coming to the bird park was certainly an advantage for me to gain more knowledge about the animal world.
Walking away from the parrots, we then came upon the ostrich. These giant birds are kept behind bars that are high enough to keep them from jumping over. However, we could still feed them with young green shoots provided by the bird park staff. it was a great experience especially for my children.
We then noticed that it was nearing 3.30pm, and quickly made our way to the amphitheatre to catch the Bird Show. We got there a few minutes late but there are still some seats left out of the 350-seating capacity. So, we sat down to watch the parrots performing hoop tricks and cleverly spelling out words, followed by the Brahminy Kites showcasing their flying skills, soaring and swooping expertly. We were definitely thrilled when the kite flew right above our heads.
After the show, we headed back and tried to spot as many different birds as possible and we were not disappointed. Although nearing the end of our trek, we still managed to spot some starlings and toucans, and the beautiful golden pheasant, as well as the Milky Storks at the Waterfall Aviary. Before going off, we made our way to the Hornbill Restaurant for some tea- time dishes, where we had the pleasure to see a large Rhinoceros Hornbill practically joining us near our table, perched on a branch very close to the verandah.
That concluded our trip to the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park beautifully and it was definitely worth every penny. It was a day we will remember fondly.
Share this article