World of Birds
We’re not in the habit of buying people things as presents. We much prefer to spoil our friends and family with time well spent and memorable experiences. To celebrate our good friend Hazels birthday, we embarked on “HazelDay” 2011 – including champagne breakfast, lunch at the epic Massimos, Dan Patlansky live at the Cape Farmhouse and a visit to World of Birds.
Fundamentally a rescue centre for animals injured or inappropriately kept as pets, World of Birds is a private project which runs as a charity to offer a safe home to these animals and use them as educational ambassadors. We were astonished by the sheer size of the place and the variety of birds and animals in the largely open access aviaries. Indigenous and exotic birds including parrots, ducks, swans, eagles, chickens, peacocks, penguins, cassowary and many more species are joined by rescued monkeys, honey badgers and alpacas.
Being in the aviaries takes you back in time to an era when bird song would have been the overwhelming sound in most forested areas. The birds fly free around your head and more than once I had to dodge incoming feathered friends (the blue winged kookabura seemed particularly fond of this dive bombing activity!). Standing underneath an owl as large as a 3 years old, but with claws more reminiscent of a velociraptor is quite intimidating but I was none the less glad that these birds had been rescued from likely death to become ambassadors for conservation.
A huge highlight of the day was spending time in the company of the rescued squirrel monkeys. As ex-pets these cute little critters are quite happy to climb all over you and investigate and clear out any pockets you have. They have surprisingly soft little hands and were incredibly entertaining to watch as they rolled around playing with each other and chasing the pheasants. I’m not sure how anyone can doubt our close genetic connections when watching their cheeky behaviour.
A visit to World of Birds is a great, affordable option for everyone and since they rely on the support of visitors to cover their substantial overheads, I can’t encourage you enough to include this gem of an attraction on any tourist/weekend sightseeing itinerary. We’ll be buying a membership soon!