From the archives…..
The Pied Imperial Pigeon actually comes from South-east Asia, but is now found in the north-east Australian state of Queensland. The images below are from the Great Aviary at Melbourne Zoo and I’ve included a few old images of the Great Aviary to give you some idea of what a great space this is. It’s enormous and covers 3 temperature zones with a water course running from the top Rainforest end down to a large pond in a dryer more temperate zone.
The boardwalk runs up to about 20 feet above the aviary floor, but on cold winter days, the birds are ‘indoors’ in sheltered spots and hard to see.
Spring, Autumn or a sunny Winter day are the best times to visit (when the birds are sun-baking in the trees (level with the boardwalk). A couple of times, I’ve been to the Zoo specifically to spend a couple of hours in the Great Aviary (only) and it’s been closed for maintenance.
I dropped my Zoo membership a couple of years ago as I’d been about 100 times in 3 years to practice (mainly) bird photography and really………just how many times can you photograph the same birds. Now that I’m living in a western suburb of Melbourne, I’m quite close to the main Melbourne Zoo (as the crow flies – about 3 miles or 6 kms). Shame there isn’t a direct route over the Maribyrnong River from where I live now.
Melbourne Zoo is a great location to spend a hot summer’s day as the landscaping around most of the exhibits is temperate rainforest.