On the outskirts of a rural village in Leicestershire hides a beautiful little bird sanctuary called The Tropical Birdland. It is a 6.5 acre piece of land that has been transformed into a bird paradise.
Once you have parked up and walked towards the entrance of the sanctuary you are welcomed by some beautiful owls. When you pay your entrance fee, you have an option of buying bags of food for the birds. We decided to buy a bag of nuts and ended up going back for a bag of fruit too!
At our first aviary we discovered a beautiful Yellow Naped Amazon who welcomed us with a “Hello”, it was so sweet and really gave us an insight into the whole experience of being at the sanctuary. After feeding this gorgeous little bird some nuts we moved on through to the different bird aviaries. Each aviary has a colour code system on them so you know what each bird can eat, you match the colour on the bag of food to the colour disk on the aviary. There is also a fact plaque about each bird species on their homes so you can read up and learn about the birds. Emerson loved learning about each bird while feeding them.
After feeding some amazing birds (and getting a hello or two), part way around there is an aviary walk through. This large tropical themed area if filled with different species of birds flying around and swimming on the lake area. The sanctuary have placed benches in this area, so if you wish to just stop and enjoy the view you can. Do look behind the benches while you are in there, as there may be a few cuties hiding behind you under the trees. Following on from the benches there is a wooden bridge that leads you to the exit.
Once we were over the bridge and out of the walk through area we were welcomed by some very funny green parrots. The parrots in the sanctuary are able to fly free and are very friendly. If your lucky they will talk to you. The largest bird living at Tropical Birdland is their Emu, it is such a character. When we paid to get in we were told that this Emu likes grapes so Emerson made sure we had some for it and we were so glad he did. Everyone who was trying to feed this bird was having fun. It shocks you how fast this bird “snatches” the food from you. It does not hurt and the bird is very gentle, it is just quite a shock how fast it takes the fruit from your hand. If you have very young children maybe try it for yourself to show them first. Emerson loved how fast the Emu ate from his hand but some of the younger children were not so keen.
After we had fed the Emu all our grapes we decided to go through the “Woodland Walk”. This is a lovely peaceful walk, where you are taken around the outskirts of the grounds. They have fact signs on the way around telling you about some of the wildlife you might see whilst in there. Emerson even caught a glimpse of a “spotted Woodpecker” and I loved the little bird and hedgehog houses they have hidden away for the wildlife.
When you are through the Woodland Walk you are right back at the Emu enclose – We really loved that Emu! Whilest walking around we learnt about a condition called “plucked parrots” were a parrot plucks its own feathers out and if a parrot does this so much they will not grow back. We noticed there where a few parrots around with this, sometimes it is caused by stress or anxiety and these parrots had been given to the sanctuary by their previous owners, who could not look after them anymore. The sanctuary has taken them in to give them a lovley life. It is amazing what they do here.
Some of the aviaries have a “get up close” area in them where you can walk into the aviary and the birds inside can fly up to you. You can feed them if you wish. One aviary we walked into, the feathery little guys were so friendly. A lot of them flew over to us and happily ate the nuts and fruit we gave them. Whilst in there a man came in wearing a baseball cap and one bird in particular loved this! He was straight on the mans cap, we all thought this was brilliant until the little bird decided to take the button off the top of the mans cap and fly away. Word of warning, don’t wear your favourite cap whilst in the aviaries, just in case the birds decide they are attracted to your cap too (unless you don’t mind there being a chance these little beauties taking it apart)
One of my favourite parts of our visit was talking to the Yellow Headed Amazon. This gorgeous little bird was talking to us for ages. It just sat on a branch in its home chatting away to us. It was so sweet, I did not want to leave this beautiful bird. I just stayed listening to him for a while. I was in love by the time I left.
On the way around the sanctuary there were two undercover areas with benches and tables, were you can sit and eat a picnic if you wanted to take one with you (we will be doing this next time we go, they were lovely areas). Or you can visit their café, the real macaw café is a lovely clean café at the top of the grounds. They have a breakfast menu, a children’s menu and a lunch menu as well as fresh sandwiches in the fridges, hot and cold drinks, ice-creams and a selection of cakes too. We didn’t anticipate on being in Birldland for as long as we were so we decided to have lunch while we were there and I can recommend the jacket potatoes! (It was amazing! I’m fussy when it comes to spuds and mine was so nice!)
Next to the café is a large wooden play area. It was raining when we reached this area and Emerson didn’t want to go in it in the rain (fair play!) This play area does look amazing and we will definatly be exploring this next time we visit.
Just before you end your day at Birdland you come to an area where you can walk amongst loads of parrots that are free to roam, fly and perch on the branches. If you have any food left you are welcome to feed them and if your lucky, have one on your shoulder or arm. I was so lucky that a baby Hyacinth Macaw named Delilah was happy to sit on my shoulder. She was so gentle and friendly. She was actually born in the sanctuary last year to the resident pair of this endangered bird. She was only 9 months old and I could tell she was a firm favourite with visitors. Its a really lovely thought that this place is helping to keep this endangered species of bird alive for generations to come.
After walking around the parrots for a while and giving them the rest of our fruit and nuts we wanted to go back to some of the aviaries again and didn’t realise that there was a gift shop you could visit. We will be going in there on our next visit, we ended up going back out the entrance way after visiting some of the birds and goats again.
We really had a great time in this lovely place. The way they have done things, the different areas and the way they made it easy to know what the birds can eat in each aviary had been done very well. We really did have a lovely day here and we would defiantly go back. It really is a must for any bird lover.
If you want to know more about this beautiful place please visit http://tropicalbirdland.com/ for all the information you need before you go. They also have special events throughout the year.