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Plenty to keep the kids entertained at Birdland in Bourton-on-the-Water

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 07, 2014

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STUCK for ideas on what to do with the kids as the half-term holidays loom on the horizon?

Fear not. Gather them up and head to Birdland in Bourton-on-the-Water to enjoy a day out in the company of some feathered friends.

A Birds Behaving Badly event will run from next Saturday until the following Sunday (February 23) with a chance to see weird and wonderful species of birds from all over the world.

From blood-sucking songbirds and puking penguins to stinking storks and spitting swallows, keepers at Birdland will be revealing revolting facts about some of the world’s most bizarre and worst behaved birds.

Over the course of the week, keepers will be giving talks and guided trails at the venue and they’ll be taking part in daily pelican and flamingo feeds.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet some of the creatures during a Meet the Creatures session.

“Despite their often angelic reputations, birds are definitely among the worst-behaved animals on the planet with some truly disgusting table manners” head bird keeper, Alistair Keen, said.

“They have also devised devilish defences and awfully amazing attacking abilities.

“The Marabou Stork defecates 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, swifts and kingfishers use their own spit to build nests and the so-called stink bird from New Guinea eats toxic beetles and then converts it into poison which covers its wings.”

With its combination of woodland, riverside and gardens, the park features more than 500 birds and 140 species and is the only venue to have a group of King Penguins in the country.

One of their number, Spike, even has his own Facebook and Twitter following.

Admission costs £8.95 for adults and £5.95 for children. Family tickets cost £28. Call 01451 820480. Colette Shakib

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