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When you are at Niagara Falls, it’s not just the namesake river that you can visit. There are a lot of tourist attractions that you can discover, and many of these are for adults and kids alike.
Perhaps one of the must-see locations in Niagara Falls is Bird Kingdom. It gives justice to the name as it is considered to be the largest aviary in the world where the birds can fly freely as if they are in the wild.
If you find yourself in the Niagara Falls region, make it a point to take a look at Bird Kingdom. But before that, here are some facts that you must know about this very famous tourist destination.
What is Bird Kingdom?
Bird Kingdom is a 50,000 square-foot attraction found at 5651 River Road, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. While mainly serving as an aviary, Bird Kingdom also has numerous mammals, reptiles, and other species as part of their collection.
The aviary is home to over 350 to 400 birds and over 80 species from all over the world. There are various attractions and tours available for visitors to explore within the location.
Bird Kingdom is a proud member and affiliate of the following organizations.
- Tourism Industry Association of Ontario
- Presto Perks
- Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums
- The Owl Foundation
- Niagara Falls Tourism
Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls is also a partner of the following companies, including but not limited to:
- CAA Niagara
- Niagara Gateway
- Walk Niagara Tours
Throughout its more than 20 years of operation, Bird Kingdom has also been given numerous recognitions, including the Trip Advisor Award of Excellence which they have won twice, specifically in 2011 and 2012.
They have also been included in the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame in 2016 and have been voted as one of the top family attractions in the Niagara Falls area multiple times.
History of the Bird Kingdom
The location on which Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls currently stands has had a very storied history. The building that currently houses the attraction was first built in 1907 as the Spirella Corset Factory, which operated until it moved to a different location in the 1950s.
In 1958, the building became the Niagara Falls Museum, which was headed by Jacob Sherman at the time. Renovations were done and numerous artifacts were relocated to the site, including the mummy of Ramesses I.
Among Egyptian relics and artifacts, thousands of stuffed animals and birds were also placed on the building for viewing and display, which seemed like a foreshadowing of what’s coming more than half a century later.
In 1999 to 2000, the building was eventually abandoned and sold to Larry Vann. Spending over 15 million dollars for renovation and an additional 5,000 square feet of space, Vann eventually opened in 2003 as Niagara Falls Aviary – Birds of the Lost Kingdom.
The name was eventually changed to Bird Kingdom and existed in its current form today.
Visiting Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls
Ticket prices for admission into Bird Kingdom are 17.95 for adults and 13.95 for children. Special rates may be available for group rates.
The price includes full access to all attractions within Bird Kingdom with the exception of the Lorikeet Feeding activity. Food and items bought at the shop will likewise be charged separately.
Bird Kingdom has a very accessible car park area which charges 4 dollars an hour. Bird Kingdom is also wheelchair-friendly, with almost all locations accessible via ramps.
There are also numerous escalators and elevators which can help move guests from one floor to another.
Visiting all the attractions may take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. Operating times may vary from season to season so it would be better to communicate with Bird Kingdom before visiting.
It is also recommended to purchase tickets online. Some companies may also offer special discount vouchers so that guests may purchase tickets at a lower rate.
Bird Kingdom Attractions
Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls provides numerous attractions. Of course, the stars of the show are the animals themselves. Here are just some of the species that you can find in this tourist destination:
- African Village Weaver
- African Spurred Tortoise
- Bearded Dragon
- Blue Jays
- Congo African Grey Parrot
- Emerald Starling
- Gouldian Finch
- Java Sparrow
- Leopard Tortoise
- Red-Crested Turaco
- Red-Footed Tortoise
- Silver-Beaked Tanager
- Timneh Parrot
- Zebra Finch
- Yellow-Spotted River Turtle
- Canard Mandarin
- Grenouille Fleche
There are also special events and activities that usually occur. Bird Kingdom encourages guest participation, especially kids. There are often fixed schedules for these activities, such as cart feeding, so it would be best to time your visits so that you can join in on them.
Here is a list of the main attractions that you can find at Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls.
The main aviary is a climate-controlled environment and is the largest free-flying aviary in the world. The main aviary spans multiple levels and simulates the rainforest environment.
There is also a waterfall that can be found in the area. The main aviary is home to about 200 birds, representing over 40 species.
An open space environment lets visitors see how the birds behave as if they are in the tropical jungle, a huge difference compared to simply watching them cooped up in a cage, something that is typical with regular zoos.
It is also here that you can experience lorikeet feeding, one of the best experiences as it lets you get up close and personal with the birds. The main aviary is also where the Javanese House can be found.
Small Bird Aviary
The small bird aviary is a smaller version of the main aviary. It is home to around 20 different species of birds, most of which are considered to be endangered or rare. As such, they are more taken care of and segregated from the general population.
Still, this does not mean that guests cannot see them in their full glory. Visitors can watch these majestic creatures fly freely and live as if they are in the wild.
Birds in the small bird aviary are typically very active and can mostly be seen building nests and taking a bath. The area is also more often than not filled with birds singing and humming.
Another great quality of the small bird aviary is that it overlooks the Niagara River Gorge, giving you another fantastic view of nature.
Encounters is another attraction within Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls where in exotic animals are presented to guests. While visitors are not allowed to hold these creatures at this time, they can certainly see them up close and learn a lot in the process.
Animals in the spotlight during Animal Encounters include parrots, bearded dragons, tortoises, snakes, and various other reptiles, amphibians, and many more.
Bird Kingdom staff can be found that will provide a lot of interesting information about these animals.
Lorikeets, also known as the Rainbow Lorikeet, are bright and colorful birds that are also very playful. They have the scientific name Trichoglossus haematodus and can be found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and other areas in Australasia.
Lorikeet feeding occurs at fixed schedules during Bird Kingdom’s operating hours. Visitors can purchase cups of nectar that they can use to feed the lorikeets. During feeding, visitors can take photos or videos as these beautiful birds land on you and literally eat out of your hand.
There are also limited slots for free lorikeet feeding, but expect to spend about 5 dollars to participate in this activity.
The Night Jungle helps highlight nocturnal creatures found within Bird Kingdom. Animals such as bats, owls, crickets, frogs, and other creatures can be found in this location.
This area is beautifully designed and is arranged to look like a jungle at night. It may be difficult to see some of the animals but you can definitely hear them.
Ancient Javanese House
The Ancient Javanese House is another exhibit that is worth the look. Located within the main bird aviary, the Javanese House is the only one that can be found in North America and is over 200 years old.
The house itself is made of teak and hand-carved. It was also constructed completely without nails. It features intricate carvings and provides a look at how ancient homes were designed.
For those who are interested in culture and architecture, the Ancient Javanese House is certainly a must-see.
Unfortunately, in order to preserve the original look of this attraction, the Ancient Javanese House is not accessible via wheelchairs.
Plants and Gardens
Aside from animals, Bird Kingdom also features a wide variety of plant life. These include chestnut vines, bottle palms, fiddle-leaf figs, and many more. Some of these plants are also considered to be endangered, so seeing them can definitely be a treat.
A plant-related highlight within Bird Kingdom is the Living Wall, a vertical garden three feet high. This is a system that both helps clean the water while also feeding the fish within the pond.
For those who cannot travel, Bird Kingdom also offers virtual tours in the form of a pre-recorded guided tour. This is available for 30 dollars and can be viewed by up to 50 participants.
The video contains a tour of the attractions as well as discusses birds in detail, including answers to the most common questions about birds.
Those who are interested may book a virtual tour online on Bird Kingdom’s website.
Visitors who want a souvenir can hop on over to the souvenir shop. Here, there are many items that guests can purchase such as shirts, mugs, figurines, and toys.
These items are quality-made and do not cost that much. It also helps support the aviary.
Even if you are not visiting the Bird Kingdom, their website also offers their products. Their online gift store offers different items that you can purchase and pick up. Alternatively, you can also have them shipped.
One of the best ways to support Bird Kingdom is to purchase annual memberships. Members will also have benefits such as unlimited entry into the attraction for one year, plus some big discounts.
Profits from memberships go towards maintenance costs, expenses for taking care of the animals, as well support for educational programs and conservation efforts.
Members, aside from gaining unlimited entry, can also bring in up to six guests for a discounted rate. They can also enjoy 20% off in the gift shop.
Annual memberships for adults cost 39 dollars while for kids the price is 29 dollars. This means that, for the price of 2 tickets, you can definitely get a lot of perks if you’re going to be a frequent patron of Bird Kingdom.
Bird Kingdom accommodates group tours, especially for schools as well as for groups larger than ten. Special rates can be offered and visitors can choose between self-guided and guided tours.
Educational tours can be arranged where multimedia presentations can be done to understand more about birds and animals in general. These presentations will depend on the current school level of the group.
Those who are interested may contact Bird Kingdom for more details as well as to get a quote for the group rates and other accommodations.
Aside from being a great tourist spot, Bird Kingdom also aims to help the environment by being more environmentally responsible.
This is done by using energy from mostly non-carbon emitting and renewable sources, as well as using recycled materials as much as possible. Even water is recycled as most water from exhibits is used to water plants in the area.
Bird Kingdom Niagara Falls is an amazing attraction that features wildlife in their purest and rawest form. This is the best place to visit in the Niagara Falls area for those who are nature lovers and want to see majestic animals up close and personal.
There are many attractions to see and lots of activities to do, which is why tourists, and even locals, should make it a point to visit Bird Kingdom so that they can better be awed and inspired by nature and the abundant life that it contains.