2014 Birds of Eden (Zuid-Afrika)
Birds of Eden is home to about 220 different types of birds, and more than 3500 birds live in the sanctuary. Our award winning bird sanctuary provides a forever home where previously caged birds can live a life of free-flight in a habitat as large and natural as is possible. The feathered inhabitants of the aviary are comprised of a mixture of exotic, as well as African birds. This includes previously caged pets, hand reared and imprinted individuals, which in turn explains why some of our inhabitants, mainly being the parrots, (of which we have 60 different species) are unafraid of human beings and seemingly tame. All new arrivals at Birds of Eden go through a process of rehabilitation before their final release into the main aviary. Most of the birds that arrive at Birds of Eden have a history of being caged in small environments. Many of the birds we home have never encountered other birds. Therefor the main rehabilitation process involves socialization with other birds in large outdoor pre-release aviaries. Here they are given the chance to build up flight muscles, flight control, i.e. practicing landings, change of direction etc. The rest of the release process is based on instinct and it is rather remarkable - all the birds instinctively know which area of the aviary suits their needs, how and where to look for, and find food, water and shelter from the weather. Species recognition is generally immediate, for e.g. when a new Ringneck is released into the aviary, all the other Ringnecks gather to have a look at the newcomer! Releasing new birds into the main aviary immediately without them going through rehabilitation would be tantamount to running a marathon without any training.