Guest Author - Malika Harricharan
Sometimes I feel that we get so used to our surroundings that we forget there is a whole wide world out there. I'm talking about the fact that since most of the writers at Bellaonline are from the US we tend to write about the US. But in this article I want to focus on our neighbor across the pond, England that is.
I'm referring to the fact that there is now a new Bird exhibit at the London Zoo called the Blackburn Pavilion. It just opened to the public a couple days ago - March 21st. This new exhibit is home to more than fifty species of birds. It was originally built in 1883 as a reptile house but now its been restored to a tropical rainforest for birds of all kinds. You will be walking among birds flying freely among tropical plants and pools and even an indoor waterfall. All in the center of London.
Just some background information on Rainforests. They are divided into layers called strata with each layer having its own plant and animal life. The bottom layer is simply known as the Floor and the next layer up is known as the Understory. Most animals live in the top 2 layers the Canopy and the Emergent layer.
One aspect that is really neat about this man made rainforest is that it allows visitors to view a rainforest from all levels. So, you see all layers from the Floor to the Emergent layer all under a translucent roof.
A couple special bird species:
Hummingbirds- native to the Americas, but here there can be found one species called the Amazila. It is estimated that about 28 species of Hummingbirds are on the verge of extinction. The London Zoo is working in conjunction with other zoos to help secure the future of Hummingbirds.
Toco Toucan - bright colored beak.
Mindanao bleeding heart dove - the endangered species is called this because of the red feathers on its breast.
Blue-winged kookaburra - this very noisy bird hails from Australia.
Splendid sunbird - found in Africa, this bird has beautiful iridescent colors
If you are planning a trip to London, this should definitely not be missed. The London Zoo is located in Regent's Park which is in close proximity to everything this exciting city has to offer. Tickets are approximately US $34.00 but with everything they have to offer at the zoo I think it is worth the price.
Don't forget that the Bird Pavilion is only part of the zoo. They also have an aquarium, butterfly paradise, gorilla kingdom, and exhibit of all sorts of mammals and reptiles and amphibians.