The Aviaries at Whistling Gardens are currently expanding. By the end of 2013, 43 birds were housed on site including Peacocks, Royal Mute Swans, Egyptian Geese, 9 species of Ornamental Pheasants and Ringneck Doves. More arrivals are coming in the spring 2014.
Plans are well underway to add more birds including Finches, Softbills, Hookbills (parrots) and some waterfowl. Many of the rare and threatened species are purchased in pairs for breeding.
Species of Birds in the Pheasantry
Many people do not realize how many beautiful species of pheasants share this planet with us. Several species have been in captivity for over 2,500 years. Unfortunately, so many are becoming extremely rare in their native habitats due to over hunting and loss of habitat. In some cases, captive breeding programs have been the only option to save these birds from going extinct. Several countries have now implemented conservation programs to protect their habitat and have set up sanctuaries and refuges for birds to be re-released into the wild.
The males are the most striking in colours and rival just about any other exotic coloured bird. Many species are shy and wary of people however certain species seem to take on unique personalities and are very charismatic. The vast majority live in wooded areas and are most active in the morning and early evening. Adult plumage comes after the 1st year molt. Most species lay between 6 and 12 eggs. Chances are only 1 or 2 may make it to adulthood in the wild.