Bioparc Birds (part 2)

For the second part of my blog about Bioparc birds I will detail the birds that are free to move around in various parts of the bioparc, generally the larger birds. With the exception of the ducks however these birds have all had their wings clipped so in truth are confined to the individual enclosures. Without having their wings clipped there would be no large birds in the Bioparc but it is sad to see birds that cannot fly and I wish there was another way to keep them.

Near the entrance are a large flock of Flamingos. These are fairly common in many parts of Southern Spain so often go unnoticed despite the noise they make. The mud mounds that can be seen in the photos are their nests where they will hopefully lay one egg. There are none to be seen at present

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Almost opposite the flamingos is the savannah area housing the rhinos and giraffes, in with this group are two female and one male Ostriches. This distinctive bird, with a long neck and legs, can run at up to about 70 km/h, the fastest land speed of any bird. I have noticed that the female Ostriches are developing bald patches which the others will peck at frequently. I’m not sure if this is normal behaviour or whether there is a problem developing.

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In the same enclosure today were the Grey Crowned Cranes, these often moved around the different parts of the savannah whereas the Black Crowned Cranes are always in the same spot. I love these birds, the crown is such an oppulent display and can look magnificent or just downright funny when it gets wet.

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The difference between the two species is, not surprisingly, that one is predominately black and the other is predominately grey. Both the crowned cranes are about 1 m (3.3 ft) tall, weigh 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs)and have a wingspan of 2 m (6.5 ft). There is a Grey Crowned Crane that sometimes appears in the bird show at midday. This one was bred in captivity and has not had its wings clipped.

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A large group of Pelicans are housed with the sitatunga and smaller primates. These generally sit in the sunshine or swim around diving for food. There are fish in the lake here but whether the Pelicans eat these or get enough from the keepers, I’m not sure. These are Great White Pelicans and are very big birds. The wingspan can range from 226 to 360 cm (7.41 to 11.81 ft), with the latter measurement the largest recorded among extant flying animals outside of the great Albatros. The total length of the great white pelican can range from 140 to 180 cm (55 to 71 in), with the enormous bill comprising 28.9 to 47.1 cm (11.4 to 18.5 in) of that length. Adult males, weigh from 9 to 15 kg (20 to 33 lb), Females are considerably less bulky and heavy, weighing from 5.4 to 9 kg (12 to 20 lb).

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In all the lakes around the parc, there are ducks of various types. Some have been introduced, some have appeared naturally and reproduce readily, no ducklings are around yet but I’ve certainly seen them in previous years. I do not know the names of these ducks but here is a small selection.

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Finally in the main savannah there are a large flock of Sacred Ibis. A wading bird of the ibis family, Threskiornithidae, the sacred ibis breeds in sub Saharan Africa, southeastern Iraq, and formerly in Egypt, where it was venerated and often mummified as a symbol of the god Thoth. The African sacred ibis occurs in marshy wetlands and mud flats, both inland and on the coast. It will also visit cultivation and rubbish dumps. It has been successfully introduced into the wild in Southern Europe where it is now considered a potential problem.

There are also two Saddle-billed Storks.  This is a huge bird that regularly attains a height of 150 cm (59 in), a length of 142 cm (56 in) and a 2.4–2.7 m (7.9–8.9 ft) wingspan. The male is larger and heavier than the female, with a range of 5.1–7.5 kg (11–17 lb).

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That just about covers all the birds at the Bioparc, apart from the wild ones which come and go as they please. No news on the baby giraffes which are still being kept separate from the others and no more babies have been born yet to my knowledge. Who knows what the next visit may bring.