The idea of a permanent bird exhibit was first conceived by Dr Goh Keng Swee, the then Minister for Finance, in 1968. During a World Bank Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Dr Goh visited its zoological garden and was impressed with its free-flight aviary. He sought to see that Jurong would be more than an industrial zone that Singaporeans would have a place where they could escape from urban life, where people could relax with nature. On 3 January 1971, Jurong Bird Park, built at a cost of S$3.5 million, was opened to the public.
The Jurong Bird Park is now a world-famous bird zoo wherein there are specimens of magnificent bird life from around the world, including a flock of one thousand and one flamingos. It is currently the world's largest bird park in terms of number of birds and second largest in terms of land area after Germany's Vogelpark Walsrode. There are over 8,000 birds of 600 species in the Jurong Bird Park. Of those, 29 are of endangered species.
In 2006, the Jurong Bird Park completed its S$10-million makeover. With the upgrading, the park now boasts a new entrance plaza, an African wetlands exhibit, a park-owned and managed Bongo Burgers restaurant, a Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlour, a gift shop and a bird hospital.
* Birds n Buddies Show: Formerly called the "All Star Birdshow", this birdshow showcases a large number of species of performing birds in a single act. Besides highlighting the antics of talented birds like the mimicking cockatoos, this show is also a window for visitors to the natural behaviour of birds like pelicans, flamingos and hornbills.
* Birds of Prey Show: Visitors can watch birds of prey such as eagles, hawks and falcons, who will fly in aerial loops and soar above the treetops. Visitors will also learn about falconry as these birds are put through their actions in a simulated hunt.
* African Wetlands:The new exhibit will give visitors a more balanced eco-system display and hopefully will be able to provide a better understanding of how nature, the birds and men co-exist in this one world we call our home. Species here include Shoebill stork, saddle-billed stork, and a few species of African fish.
* African Waterfall Aviary: The African Waterfall Aviary is the world's largest walk-in aviary with more than 1,500 free-flying birds from over 50 species. Visitors may hop aboard the Panorail, the world's only monorail that runs through an aviary. Jurong Falls, which is located within the African Waterfall Aviary, is the world's tallest man-made waterfall in an aviary at 30 metres high. Species include golden-breasted starling, turacos, and the hoopoe.
* Flightless Birds: in one corner of the zoo there is a section full of flightless birds. Ostriches, emus, rheas, and cassowaries are the residents of this exhibit.
* Southeast Asian Birds Aviary: Visitors can view the largest collection of Southeast Asian birds, which has over 200 species. There are large, central walk-in aviary and peripheral aviaries that house the more delicate or territorial birds. A daily simulated mid-day thunderstorm is followed by a cool, light drizzle. Territorial species are kept in large cages, while species that can coexist with each other (Fruit doves and pigeons being a example)are left to fly free in the aviary.
* Lory Loft is 3,000 square metres large and about 9 storeys high and is the world's largest walk-in flight aviary for Lories and lorikeets, with over 1,000 free-flying lories. The ambience is similar to that of a rainforest vale in tropical Northern Australia. Visitors can offer the lories a special nectar mix and the birds will flock to them.
* Penguin Expedition: There are more than 200 penguins living in this exhibit. The five species on exhibit are the Humboldt, the Rockhopper, the Macaroni, the Fairy and the King Penguin. Visitors can have a panoramic view of the birds 'flying' underwater. Beside them, a viewing platform for puffins can be found.
* World of Darkness: Asia's first nocturnal bird house features a system of reverse lighting, converting day to night and vice versa. On display are 60 birds from 17 species, like the Night Herons, Fish Owls, boobook owls and Snowy Owls. It is akin to a quiet nocturnal walk along a starlit jungle path, watching birds in their nocturnal surroundings and hearing them beckon.
* Pelican Cove: Visitors can catch a glimpse of all 7 species of pelicans, including the endangered Dalmatian Pelican. There is a boardwalk, where visitors can stroll along and observe these birds. Visitors can also see the pelicans at the world's first underwater viewing gallery for pelicans, where the birds scoop for fish at feeding time.
* Lunch with the Birds: Visitors can enjoy a beautiful view of the Flamingo Lake while they enjoy breakfast.
* Panorail: The Jurong Bird Park Panorail is the world's only monorail system that runs through an aviary. The panorail has three stations, namely Main Station, Lory Station and Waterfall Station.
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