Bird Kingdom

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Bird Kingdom
Private
Industry Aviary
Founded 2003
Headquarters Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Area served
United States and Canada
Number of employees
20
Website Official Website

Bird Kingdom, is located in the tourist district of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Previously the home of the Niagara Falls Museum, the building was re-opened as a free flying aviary in May 2003. It is now one of the largest indoor aviaries in the world, encompassing approximately 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2), and it houses over 300 individual birds, the majority of which come from Australia, South America, and Africa. It also houses mammals, insects, and reptiles, and even an amphibian-the dyeing poison frog. Bird Kingdom has been voted Niagara Falls Attraction of the Year four times, and Trip Advisor Destination Winner for 2011 & 2012.[1]

History[edit]

The Spirella Corset Company in 1900s.

In 1908, the Spirella Corset Company built a four-story concrete building on the current site of the aviary. By 1958, the company had shrunk in size, resulting in the company's moving their location to a smaller facility. The building was purchased that year by Jacob Sherman, who owned the Niagara Falls Museum. Sherman then renovated the building extensively, adding a five-story viewing tower while also moving 700,000 artifacts to the building.[2] It was discovered later that the museum had been home to the actual mummy of King Ramesses I.[3][4] By that time of that discovery, however, the museum was closed and the mummy back in Egypt.

The museum was operated by the Sherman family until 1999, when the maintenance of the building and artifacts became too costly. Most of the artifacts were sold or returned to their place of origin. Larry Vann, a resident of the Niagara area, purchased the museum building. Over the next few years, $15 million was spent on renovations to the building. The renovations included a large addition to the south side of the old museum building. In June 2003, the building re-opened as Bird Kingdom at the Niagara Falls Aviary.[5]

Areas and attractions[edit]

Small Aviary[edit]

A wattled jacana at the Small Aviary.

This section of the aviary houses smaller birds, some of them so small that six of them can be held on a person's hand. The Small Aviary houses over fifty types of birds, among which are some endangered and rare species. It overlooks the Niagara Gorge, a well known bird watching spot and bird breeding ground.[6]

Reptile Encounter Zone[edit]

The Reptile Encounter Zone contains a wide collection of reptiles from around the world. It holds lizards, snakes, tortoises, spiders, and scorpions. Some of the animals in this exhibit are able to be touched and held by visitors to Bird Kingdom.[7]

Nocturnal Zone[edit]

The Nocturnal Zone is built to resemble an ancient jungle ruin where many nocturnal animals reside. The exhibit is kept dark during the day and bright during the night to ensure that visitors see the creatures when they are most active. Bats, owls, and other animals inhabit this area of the aviary. Fruit bat feedings are done at various times during the day.[8]

Main aviary[edit]

A silvery-cheeked hornbill in the Main Aviary.

The $16 million section of Bird Kingdom consists of 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2) of rainforest and houses almost 400 birds. Those birds represent approximately 80 species from around the globe, which live in the tropical environment maintained at 76 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to the birds, there is also a 40-foot (12 m) tall waterfall. Visitors are able to feed lorikeets, take guided tours, and meet the curator of the museum.[9]

Javanese tea house[edit]

Bird Kingdom houses the only authentic Javanese nobleman's house in North America. The house was hand carved with solid teak wood and constructed without nails. In the 19th century, houses like this were for the aristocratic class. The front door of the house faces south, supposedly facing the sea. The intricate carving on the roof shows visitors that the house was for a nobleman. The tea house also serves food and beverages on weekends.[10] This part of Bird Kingdom includes a bromeliad and orchid exhibit.

Gallery[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Official Website of Bird Kingdom.
  2. ^ Friendly Ghost Of The Museum & Corset Factory Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  3. ^ History of Bird Kingdom. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  4. ^ Mummy of Ramesses I. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  5. ^ History of Niagara Falls Museum. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  6. ^ Small Aviary at Bird Kingdom. Retrieved 2010-12-27
  7. ^ Reptile Encounter Zone. Retrieved 2010-12-27
  8. ^ Nocturnal Zone at Bird Kingdom. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  9. ^ Niagara Frontier Retrieved 2010-12-26.
  10. ^ Javanese Tea House in Bird Kingdom. Retrieved 2010-12-27.

Coordinates: 43°05′33″N 79°04′06″W / 43.09250°N 79.06833°W / 43.09250; -79.06833 (Niagara Falls Aviary)