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March 6, 2010

A walkthrough aviary in Vandalur zoo

     Vandalur (Tamil Nadu): The Arignar Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur near Chennai has set up a walkthrough aviary that has come as a boon for the bird lovers since they can have a leisure walk along the path and enjoy bird watching. Aviary is a large enclosure for birds, which is devoid of restricting birds' freedom to fly within it. Unlike the general cages, an aviary provides the birds a perfect natural ambience with trees and assorted bushes inside to build nests and even breed. With more than 150 birds belonging to 14 different species, the new aviary at Vandalur Zoo has been set up in an area spread over 1.5 acres of land at a cost of five million rupees. According to zoo authorities, the objective of the walkthrough aviary is to offer birds more freedom to fly and also enable the visitors to have a better observation of the birds' behaviour. "Nowadays city dwellers are unable to see varieties of birds, so this walkthrough aviary has been set up for the benefit of the students, youngsters and children. They can now watch the birds closely and see how they eat and their nesting habits and other activities. Bird lovers enjoy the concept and at the same time birds are provided with a natural and free environment to live," said Shekhar, ornithologist, Arignar Anna Zoological Park , Vandalur, Chennai. The species in the enclosure include the kingfisher, the rose-ringed parakeet, the red whiskered bulbul, babbler, red vented, the white browed bulbul, Alexandrine parakeet, common mynah, hoope, rock pigeon, blue lovebirds, budgerigars, and partridges apart from scores of peacocks and parrots. The enclosure is probably the largest terrestrial aviary-cum-multi species bio centre in the country. A visitor noted that the aviary has a soothing effect for the mind and the eyes since the environs are peaceful. "This place looks very natural and we are able to see different variety of birds closely under one roof. Children enjoy hearing the chirps made by the birds. This place is natural and it gives a sense of peace to the eyes of the visitors," said Santosh, a visitor. This walkthrough aviary also has fruit bearing trees in it providing choice of food for the birds. This is in addition to the zoo management feeding them with assorted fruits, green vegetables and grains. Walkthrough aviaries are quit popular in countries like Australia and Singapore.
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