Birds Behaving Badly Week at Cotswolds attraction
By David Wood
Meet the mother who vomits on her young as part of Birds Behaving Badly Week at Birdland in Bourton-on-the-Water.
Birds behaving badly take centre stage at the wildlife attraction over half term (Saturday, May 27th - Sunday, June 4th).
From blood-sucking songbirds to stinking storks, keepers at Birdland will reveal revolting facts about the feathered fiends, as part of Birds Behaving Badly Week.
There will be talks and trails highlighting the rather less glamorous aspects of natural history - and a spotter's quiz trail enabling visitors to venture around the park and discover the remarkable creatures for themselves.
Head keeper Alistair Keen said: "Despite their often-angelic reputations, birds are definitely among the worst behaved animals on the planet, with some truly disgusting table manners.
"The marabou stork urinates on itself in order to cool its legs, fulmar chicks aim projectile vomit at the face of any potential threats and oxpecker birds will open old wounds on cattle in Africa in order to drink their blood.
"Swallows and housemartins use their own spit to build nests and the lilac-breasted roller vomits on its own chicks to deter would-be predators."
There are a variety of talks throughout half term, with penguin feeds at 11am and 2.30pm, flamingo (11.30am) and parrot (12pm) talks, plus a Meet the Keeper session at 12.30pm.
With its combination of woodland, riverside and gardens, Birdland features more than 500 birds, ranging from the UK's only colony of king penguins and parrots, to cassowaries and cranes in a mix of free-flying and aviary displays.
Birdland Park and Gardens is located in Rissington Road, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2BN. Open daily from 10am (except Christmas Day). Tel: 01451 820480 or visit Birdland's website for more information.
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