A Parliament of Birds (Safari West)


The game park’s aviary is extraordinary. The owner’s first area of interest was birds, so in addition to the large cranes, flamingos and other birds in the corral, they have several varieties in cages and a large covered area with egrets, pheasants, waterfowl, and exotic pigeons. I remember the park as having a lot of hornbills, but we only saw two on our visit this time.

Many, but perhaps not all, of you know that flamingos are born white. The coloring comes from beta carotene in the foods they eat. With the flamingos, this was obvious when you see live ones up close because the color variations are obvious. Somehow, I never noticed it on the plastic ones on people’s lawns.

Danny liked the two new hornbills because they were so curious, always coming up to the mesh and watching the park goings-on. He said that experts now think the “horn,” or crest, which is hollow, is actually used to amplify sound.

Ner the gift shop, a flock of bright goldenrod birds live in a large cage. Their nests are fascinating; woven orbs with holes in the bottom. I didn’t get to ask how the birds keep the eggs from rolling out.

The macaws act as official greeters. I noticed handlers were taking them back into their private aviary around three-thirty. They are friendly and noisy birds who squabbled with each other the whole time they were out. Very entertaining.

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One Response to A Parliament of Birds (Safari West)

  1. Chad Hull says:

    This is one amazing trip you’re on.

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