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Bird Land

- Joshua Goldstein

Although I have traveled to several places in China, I personally have never been to the tropical island of Hainan, where I experienced many new adventures and excursions in December of 2014. Surrounded by the South China Sea, Hainan is located 469 km southwest of Hong Kong. Even though it was December, the temperature was hovering around 70 degrees and along the streets, there were many palm trees and bright flowers creating a tropical paradise. On this splendid day, my grandparents and I went to a local bird park located between Haikou and Sanya.

bird park

Entering the park, I was enthralled by the canopy of trees and various bushes around me.

bird 2

As I strolled under the green umbrella, passing the glassy pond and vivid water lilies, I ran into a bird play pen, where locals were feeding the birds with specks of food. Out of my curious mind, I went inside the play-pen where workers placed food into my hand and about 20 to 30 species of birds came swarming in unison onto my hand, devouring every crumb and bit that was on my skin! Initially, I felt awkward that subtle sharpness was pricking at my skin.

feeding birds

But after a while, I got acclimated to the birds feeding off my hand and arm. To my amazement, I discovered that no two birds of the same species were alike, in that every bird had their own unique pattern of colors and feather texture. As I continued my walk through the verdant acres of the bird park, I ran into an open area with a wide stage and wooden benches where a bird show was imminent. The bird show instructors used hand gestures and small voice calls to order the birds to perform tricks or do a task.

tricycle

In the above picture, the macaw is riding a tricycle to reach the other end of the stage under the direction of supervisors. Did you know that birds can solve math problems? The audience yelled out a simple math equation in Mandarin and a bird would use their mouths to bring over the correct sum to you. For example for 2 + 8 = 10, the audience would shout out 2 + 8 and the bird would bring back the 10 card.

Overall, Hainan Island was a memorable place that I would recommend for anyone who loves traveling and nature!

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