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Who are the 3 iconic residents of the Mandal Bird Paradise?

Updated: May 21, 2023

The Jurong Bird Park, which opened its doors to visitors in 1971, ceased operations on 3 Jan 2023. It relocated to Mandai Wildlife Reserve as Bird Paradise - home to 3,500 birds from more than 400 species. Opened: 8 May 2023

In his late 50s, Big John, a sulphur-crested cockatoo was the park’s mascot for more than a decade from 1985. Advertisements that were broadcast overseas featured him. He was already an adult when the park opened in 1971.

Cockatoos have a preferred “footedness” analogous to human handedness. Unlike humans, most are left-footed. In captivity, cockatoos have a lifespan similar to humans. The word 'cockatoo' has its origins in Malay and means 'vice' or 'grip' because of their incredibly strong beak.
  • A highly intelligent bird, they are well known in aviculture, although they can be demanding pets.

  • The sulphur-crested (Cacatua galerita) Cockatoos are birds in the parrot family that have a crest of feathers on their heads. They are omnivores that can eat nuts, seeds, and beetle larvae. They make their habitats in the rainforests of Australia and surrounding areas, but can also be great pets!

  • Life span: 40-100 years. They have been known to engage in geophagy, the process of eating clay to detoxify their food. These birds produce a very fine powder to waterproof themselves instead of oil as many other birds do.

  • The vocalisations of cockatoos are loud and harsh. Big John mimics the sounds of a cough and chicken and greetings like Hello and Goodbye!

Big John, sulphur-crested cockatoo
Big John, sulphur-crested cockatoo

  • The expressive crest is yellow. They use facial expressions (with their feathers) to indicate positive emotions.

Suzy, an American bald eagle, is 25 years old (2023), weighs 6.3 kg, and is the iconic drama queen at Jurong Bird Park. Predators on Wings

Quick fun fact: They have amazing eyesight and they mate for life.

A human with perfect eyesight has 20/20 vision. Bald eagles can have 20/4 or 20/5 vision, meaning they can see four or five times farther than the average person. A bald eagle can spot prey the size of a rabbit three miles away. They also have a 340-degree field of view (compared to our measly 180 degrees) and have both monocular and binocular vision. This allows them to use each eye individually or together!

Retailing at Unpackt Retail-Cafe at Level 1, Mandai Bird Paradise- Singapore's 1st zero waste lifestyle store

Sunny, a great pied hornbill was the former park icon from 2016 for about 5 years. "The hornbill was chosen because it is an icon that represented conservation for Southeast Asia." Sunny performs at Wings of the World.

I am mainly a frugivorous (fruit-eating) bird and play a crucial role in seed dispersal, hence I am also known as the 'farmer of the tropical forest’.


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