The Finch Weekly

This May, my husband and I decided it was high time we had a visit to Chester Zoo.  At a bird keeper, the birds of Chester Zoo are worth the trip along and I am also a big fan of cats and almost any other mammal.  So the place was a wonderful trip and here are some of the (bird) highlights.

birds of chester zoo
Map of the zoo

Realm of the Red Ape

While the primates in this area were impressive, so too were some of the birds.  These included the Blue Crowned Hanging Parrot, the Black naped Fruit Dove and a gorgeous Chestnut backed Thrush who declined to have his picture taken!

The Islands

The Islands is the newest area of the zoo and I was utterly astonished by it.  You can ride around the whole thing on a boat or just walk, as we did.  It is themed around the animals and birds of the islands of South East Asia – Panay, Papua, Bali, Sumatra, Sumba and Sulawesi.  This means some eye-catching residents including the tigers, a type of crocodile and some very interested orangutans.

From a bird perspective, there were two highlights.  One was the Sumatra temple complete with a breeding colony of Bali Starlings as well as a few Java finches.  The other was the Monsoon Forest.  This was a large indoor area that you walked through and there were birds flying around you in a very natural environment.  These included some startling doves and other beautiful birds who would allow you to get really close if you approached slowly.

The Rhinoceros Hornbill who lived just outside was also worth spotting.  The only downside was the Cassowary wouldn’t come out for his/her picture taken but can’t complain – these are wild creatures after all!

Tsvao Bird Safari

This was another highlight for me as I saw a species I adore up close – the Lilac Breasted Roller.  The area was an active breeding location with some very impressed Village Weaver nests so there was just the one path through it but there were some amazing birds to see in it.  As well as the weavers and the roller, there were Superb Starlings, Brown Breasted Barbet and a Von Der Decken’s Hornbill who looked like he would eat your fingers just for a laugh!

Other species

There is a parrot enclosure but it is for breeding purposes so you can hear the birds but not really see them.  There is also the adorable Humboldt Penguins, whose enclosure has a side viewing panel to see them skimming through the water.  There is another large area of wading and water birds but unfortunately getting pictures was a little difficult.

The flamingos need little introduction and there are two species – the brighter Caribbean and the paler Chilean species.  They have their own enclosures beside each other that you hear before you see.

Worth a visit?

Definitely!  We spent the entire day there and the only thing that made us go home was an inability to walk any further.  And as well as birds there are big cats, elephants, giraffe, primates, a bat cave with an unbelievable smell and loads more.

2 Responses

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