Happy New Year everyone and welcome to our new blog. From here we will be posting weekly updates about life in the park and giving you a glimpse into the life of a Bird Keeper.
We currently have approximately 400 birds (120 species) under our care, plus a few reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fish and insects. We split the park into 3 sections with a keeper managing one each. They are responsible for the feeding, cleaning, health care and breeding management of the birds on their section.
For those of you who don’t know us that well here’s a quick introduction to the keeping team.
Alistair – Head Keeper, usually to be found around the penguin enclosure at 2.30 most days
Chris – Assistant Head Keeper, a surrogate dad to four of our flamingos as well as a couple of owls
Rob – Our longest-serving keeper having worked with us for over 12 years, Rob looks after the Cassowaries, Ibis and several of the owls amongst others
Helen – Responsible for the Pelican talks during the Summer, her section also includes Macaws, Flamingos and the Caracaras
Our working day starts at 7.30 each day and the first responsibility is to do a head count and make sure everyone is alive and well. Obviously at this time of year its a little dark so we head straight down to our kitchen area where we prepare the mornings feeds. We’re out and about feeding and cleaning before opening at 10.
We then have a series of duties to complete each day, be it chopping fruit ready for the next day, washing food dishes or cleaning and feeding in our quarantine shed. The afternoon is taken up with feeding the birds of prey, shutting some of the birds away for the night (particularly at this time of year!) and getting the kitchen clean and tidy for the next day.
That’s just a small snippet of the day in the life of a Birdland Keeper and part of the plan with this blog is to give you a real insight into our job.
The only news from 2013 so far is that we are still partially flooded with the main areas affected being Marshmouth Nature Reserve, parts of the middle section of the park (by the pelicans) and the play area. Some of the birds have had to have been moved offshow due to flooding (the Burrowing Owls and some of the pheasants) and the Pelicans have been kept in as the river is both high and fast flowing.
Next weeks blog will have further flood updates and we let you know all the news from the past few days
Thanks for reading and let us know your thoughts