In the second article of the series of articles “Help for wild animals in South Africa”, I write about Birds of Eden. Like I mentioned in the first article about Monkeyland, I write about five institutions (among them as well Jukani, Tenikwa and SANCCOB) close to Plettenberg Bay in South Africa where dedicated people engage in the protection of wild animals. At the beginning I was not quite sure if I should visit an aviary. In general I do not like birds in cages. However, I talked with people who were active in bird conservation. They told me about the positive aspects of Birds of Eden. Thus, my concerns vanished.
Birds of Eden in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Birds of Eden is a sanctuary for previously caged birds. Most birds came to Birds of Eden as they were kept as pets. In Birds of Eden they get at least parts of their freedom again. In nature these birds would not be competitive with other birds as, like mentioned, they were previously kept as pets. It would be difficult for them to find a place in the wilderness again.
In Birds of Eden these birds find a protected environment.
Birds of Eden is a 2 hectare dome and considered as the world’s largest one. About 70% of the aviary is covered by native trees and plants. There are both South African and exotic species in Birds of Eden. However, almost all birds have one thing in common. They were previously kept in cages, and thus, have to be rehabilitated to the aviary. That means, to get them to socialize and train their flight muscles.
When I was at Birds of Eden I saw quite a lot of birds. I saw endemic species like the western plantain-eater or the olive thrush, but also exotic species like parrots or toucans. I can highly recommend a visit at Birds of Eden. You can not only observe quite a variety of bird species, but also support the people who work at Birds of Eden.
However, there is only one point I would wish to improve. As I’m by far not a bird expert, I would have enjoyed to get a little bit more information about the birds at Birds of Eden.