THE level of maintenance of the bird aviary at Cook Park has been defended by Orange City Council, after a regular visitor from Sydney to the park said he was shocked by the state of the bird enclosure.
Orange City Council spokesman Allan Reeder said staff give the birds and the aviary a high priority among other duties at the park which is a city showpiece
“All three cages in the aviary are inspected every day,” he said.
“Food, water and general cleaning happens three times a week.”
However Terence Lee of Willoughby in Sydney said that is not his experience.
“On a visit this morning (September 26) I was shocked at the state of the water in the bird baths and ponds on the floor, from which the birds drink,” he said.
Mr Lee said the water in the ponds was black and dirty and the bird baths were overgrown with yellow slime.
Mr Reeder said keeping birds in captivity is often a matter of public debate.
“Similar to debates over zoos, it’s a matter of balancing the positive benefits of seeing a beautiful native bird up close, against the reality of seeing the birds in a cage,” he said.
Mr Reeder said staff are focused on creating an engaging environment for the birds with new leafy branches added every couple of weeks.
However Mr Lee said that isn’t often enough.
“I was unable to see any fruit or vegetables for the birds, and the branches hadn’t been changed for weeks.”
Mr Lee has gone one step further calling on council to close the aviary “unless the birds can be given proper care,” he said.
Mr Reeder said council staff take particular care providing a mix of nesting boxes, logs and undercover spaces all designed to enrich the birds’ environment.
“It is important to remember that all the birds in the aviary have been bred in captivity and would not survive in the wild,” he said.
Yesterday morning the aviary was being cleaned by staff and branches replaced.
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