The birds at Jurong Bird Park in Singapore have been photographed to death. I know. The fact that those pretty birds were just…there, probably, the reason why many people, me included, still out there with our cameras. You don’t have to have a gigantic lens the size of a bazooka, and you don’t have to hide and wait for a looong time for a chance to get a decent shot of birds, like you do under in ‘normal’ life.
I have to admit, I love Jurong Bird Park. I know not many people are with me on this. I’ve been here before, and I remember I always had a great time; so I was glad that I had the opportunity to go to the park again; with my kids this time. Even though my daughter clearly specified that she only wanted to feed the birds and do water play (in the venue’s water park section), and swore she would not enjoy/see anything else, she and her brother could not help but enjoying the rest of the park as well, because it’s really interesting.
Taking photos of birds, even in captivity like the ones at the park, can still be tricky. The way they move their heads, flutter their wings, and other things birds do, they do it pretty fast. It’s almost like trying to take a portrait photo, with the subject that keeps doing sudden movements every single second.
If you want to know the name of these birds, this might not be the post for you.(*12/11 update: thanks to Bird Watcher – see comments- now I am able to put the names of all the birds!). Do read further if you want to see some images I took over there; they were of birds that I thought very attractive, to me at least, colourwise, and shapewise.
Remember when I say that some birds just move to quickly for the camera, well, this one (shown below) is not one of those birds. Meet Shoebill.
This is part of what’s written on the information board about Shoebill:
..it gets its name from the fact that its beak resembles a clog which is type of Dutch shoe.It feeds on fish and uses a “standing and waiting” approach. One can observe that the shoebill stands as still as a statue, staring at the water below for a long periods up to 20 minutes, waiting for opportunity to strike…
After watching this Shoebill staring grumpily at us for a full 5 minutes without moving one single muscle, I was sure that we were looking at a bird statue, until I read the information above. After I was convinced it was a real deal, I returned to stand right in front of it to see whether it was ever going to move. The intensity of the stare was so unnerving, considering there was no fish insight. The bird was standing next to the wooden gate, and was just stand there and staring at me. It did finally move, then I wondered whether it could fly, or jump, or pounce. That beak was bigger than my 24-70mm lens, you know. It could easily gulp it down, if it wanted to. The smart thing to do at that time I thought was to step away, really slowly, from the gate and the Shoebill. Not taking any risk…
The next bird behaved differently than Shoebill. It couldn’t stay still, and always walking around, pecking here and there. It did not even look nervous that I was standing really close to it, it kept walking closer towards me. Then I got scared. I could not figure out birds. They make me nervous sometimes.
I watched this bird, named African Grey Crowned Crane, for a while, I really like how pretty the head looked. Feel free to fill me in about the name of this bird, because I got no clue.
We ended the day by feeding the friendly and beautiful Lorikeets. It was a long and hot day, we were all very tired from the walk, and from the heat. It’s hard not to feel happy while feeding the Loris, they were so playful, and colourful. It was a really nice way to end the day.