Birds of the Adelaide Zoo
Earlier this week I received the latest magazine of the Zoological Society of South Australia Zoo Times (March 2006). This magazine covers events and news of the Adelaide Zoo and the Monarto Zoological Park (about 65km SE of Adelaide and only about 8 km from my home). I receive the magazine because I am a Life Member of the zoo.
Birds of Adelaide Zoo
This issue of the magazine does not specifically cover news of any birds held in the collection. I have visited the Adelaide Zoo on many occasions over recent years and I always take the opportunity to linger at the many bird exhibits. These enclosures are not your run of the mill sterile aviary cage. The exhibits very successfully recreate a small parcel of habitat in which the species live. Desert dwelling birds are depicted in a typical desert type environment. Water birds are exhibited in lagoons and small ponds. Rainforest dwelling birds are displayed in planted up aviaries with the feel and look of a rainforest and so on.
Walk through aviaries
A feature of the magnificent avian collection of the Adelaide Zoo is the three walk through aviaries. In these one is able to get up close and personal with the many species contained in the display. My favourite would have to be the Rainforest aviary. This contains many species I don’t get to see here in the dry Murray Mallee of South Australia.
This just highlights the valuable educational role that the modern zoo can provide. Many of the species contained in the zoo collection are not easily seen in the natural environment unless one is able to travel vast distances. I spend time studying these beautiful birds in the aviaries so that when I do come across them in their natural habitat I will be able to easily identify them. Some species I will never get to see in the wild because of their rarity or the inaccessibilty of their natural habitat. It’s not ideal – it’s not the same as seeing them in the wild state – but it’s the next best thing.
One relatively common Australian bird species is the Glossy Ibis. I have searched high and low for this bird in various parts of Australia. It is even quite common within an hour’s drive of home. So far it has eluded me. This is very frustrating because I know it should be easy to find. I have seen this species in many zoos around Australia – but I’ve never seen one in its natural habitat! My day will come – then I will see it at every turn. Guarateed! It’s a birding law.
For more information about the Adelaide Zoo and the Monarto Zoological Park click here.