Paradise Park

Wildlife Sanctuary • Cornwall

Events and things to do throughout the year including Easter Egg Hunts, summer flying displays, Quiz trails around the Park, Halloween Pumpkin Trail and more.

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Make it a birthday to remember with your choice of four themed party rooms with the birthday child’s name displayed on the door.

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Hi, everyone! My name is SuperParrot! I am a Scarlet Macaw and the official mascot of Paradise Park in Cornwall!

This is my SuperPage – a place to show off just some of the AMAZING animals at Paradise Park. By the way when birds show off, it’s called ‘displaying’.

Each month, I am going to meet a different bird or mammal from the Park. I will tell you a bit about them and, hopefully, one day you will come and meet them too!

Also some of our lovely human visitors like to send us photos, pictures and even craftworks including a fabulous little Scarlet Macaw model (did I mention Scarlet Macaws are brilliant?). See the gallery at the bottom of the page with a few Super examples.

May 2024

Hello all!

This month, I had a brilliant time meeting some of the chough (it sounds like ch-u-ff) chicks at Paradise Park!

Choughs have the scientific name Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax which translates as Fire Crow because of the fiery red colour of their beak.

You might have seen a chough flying around Cornwall (or even a drawing on the Cornish coat of arms). They are part of the crow family. Choughs have beautiful black feathers with a lovely curved red beak and red legs. Their beaks are perfectly shaped to be able to probe the first few centimetres of the ground and to rootle (that means to dig and burrow and might be my new favourite word!) around the soil and at the edges of rocks to find insects to eat.

Choughs used to live in lots of different areas including Cornwall but they were missing from the county for a long time for several reasons. These includes farming methods that changed so that some farm animals were no longer on land around the coast where choughs like to live. The cows, sheep and ponies would eat the plants on the land and this meant choughs could rootle and rootle (see I told you I loved that word) and reach all the lovely insects. But without the other animals, the plants grew up and the choughs found it harder to find insects because of the bracken (a fern) and gorse (a shrub). Also, hundreds of years ago, people kept choughs as pets which meant some of the wild birds were captured! Pesticides – used to keep insects from crops – were a problem because the choughs ate the insects which had the pesticides in them! Luckily, one of the worst pesticides, DDT, was banned in the UK because it was so bad for the environment.

These problems meant that choughs did not live in Cornwall for a long time. However, three choughs from Ireland flew to Cornwall and made it their home! Those choughs had little ones and now we have wild choughs living in Cornwall!

Operation Chough page heading

The first choughs at Paradise Park originated from Wales. Our Friends in Green who look after all the animals at Paradise Park wanted to help wild choughs around the country because they were facing similar problems to those in Cornwall. So they made sure they found out as much as they could about choughs and what makes them happy. They put cameras in the choughs nest boxes to monitor the birds and they know how to handle them (you should only handle animals if you know how to keep them safe and have been trained!) so they could check their health including weight, and to listen to their calls in the nest (the chicks are loud when they want food!).

SuperParrot and Chough Chick
Because our Friends in Green learned so much about choughs, they were able to successfully breed lots of baby choughs! The chicks grew up strong and healthy and were able to be released into the wild – amazing! Through the years, Paradise Park has released choughs in Jersey and Dover! It is brilliant to think that lots of lovely choughs are flying about in places that they had been missing from for years!

The chicks that I met were still very young and haven’t got their grown-up feathers yet. They will soon open their eyes and learn to preen themselves (this means look after their feathers). Their beaks and legs start off greyish and develop the full red colour as they get older. If you would like to see the chicks growing and being fed by their Mum and Dad, there is a webcam each year from March to May so you can! Click the link to Operation Chough’s website – this is the name of the conservation project created to help choughs. You can find out lots more on the website and see into the chough nestbox! Fantastic! This webcam will be running until sometime in June when the breeding season finishes.

Fledged Chough Chick with Adults Paradise Park 2022
I loved meeting chough chicks and I can’t wait to see how big they get! Hopefully you can come to see some of the grown-up choughs at Paradise Park fly in the Free Flying Bird Show!

Thanks for reading – see you next time!

SuperParrot x

April 2024

This month, I have met one of the Red Squirrel families at Paradise Park!

Mr and Mrs Squirrel have recently had babies! A squirrel baby is called a kit, and they are so cute (even if they don’t have wings like a parrot!).

Red-Squirrel-kits-Paradise-Park-Cornwall-5

When squirrels are first born, they don’t have fur and they can’t hear or see anything. They stay safe in the nest of twigs, leaves, and grass (which is called a drey). They grow fur and open their eyes in the first few weeks after they have been born. When they are covered in their lovely, rusty red coloured fur and can keep themselves warm, they start to venture outside their drey – that’s around eight weeks after they are born.

Red Squirrels’ Latin name is Sciurus vulgaris and they are native to Europe and Britain. They have tufts of fluffy red fur around their ears and a great big bushy tail which helps them balance on branches. You might see more Grey Squirrels than red ones out in the wild – they are bigger than the Red Squirrels and sometimes take the Red Squirrels food. Grey squirrels can also carry an illness that makes Red Squirrels sick!

Red Squirrels don’t hibernate so need to find food all year round. They hide food in ‘caches’ – by digging little holes and burying food which they can come back to in the winter. Squirrels have a few caches, so they can find a different one if another squirrel finds theirs first! Squirrels are omnivores which means they will eat meat and plants – like insects, nuts, and fungi. Mr and Mrs Squirrel told me that they love to eat cob nuts! I had no idea a cob nut was a hazelnut till I talked to the squirrels!

In the wild, kits don’t stay in their family unit for very long like parrots do – they move out after a few months and find their own place to live! I couldn’t imagine moving away from all my brother and sisters – squirrels really aren’t like parrots at all!

It is my first-time meeting one of the mammals at Paradise Park – they are very different from birds – they don’t hatch from eggs, and they don’t fly!

Mr and Mrs Squirrel haven’t named their kits yet – what do you think is a good name for a Red Squirrel?

See you next time!

SuperParrot x

Read more about Red Squirrels HERE

March 2024

Hi everyone! In March I met a brilliant bird called Angel!

Angel is a Northern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus) which are found in the wild in North and Central Africa. As you can see from the picture of Angel, she is quite a big bird (I had to perch on a branch to look her in the eyes!). Angel has mostly dark feathers with a little bit of white underneath. You can see she has skin around her neck and eyes – Angel’s is mostly blue. That bit at the top of her beak is called a casque and it helps Angel make loud, booming noises!

Angel hatched at Paignton Zoo in May 2002 so she will be 22 years old this year! Amazing!

She came to Paradise Park in 2003 and loved being part of one of the shows here – Angel said children used to hide big, plastic bugs and she would find them! The crowd loved it! Angel loved it too as she is an inquisitive bird (that’s a nice way of saying she likes to look around at everything and see what is going on!). She will follow our ‘Friends in Green’ (the Paradise Park Keepers) when they are in her aviary giving her food or tidying up, and Angel likes to carry grass or other natural things she finds to give to her friends as gifts! What a sweet thing to do!

Angel said she eats chicks, mice and fruit but her favourite food is insects – especially locusts!

PIERRE the Hornbill

In 2008, Pierre moved to Paradise Park from Zoo Parc de Beauval in France and he and Angel were next-door neighbours for a little bit before moving in to the same enclosure. Hornbills slap their beaks together as a sign of affection – it makes a bit of a noise but it shows that Pierre and Angel are really in love!

If you look at the picture of Pierre, you can also see that Ground Hornbills have really long eyelashes. Pierre’s skin around his eyes and neck is red as well as blue which means you can easily tell him apart from Angel.

I had so much fun meeting Angel this month – hope you can come and say hello to her and Pierre too. 🙂

See you next time,

SuperParrot

February 2024

Hello again, everyone! Thank you for the lovely comments about my new page! I am glad you enjoyed reading about Scarlet Macaw ‘Skittles’ last month.

This month, I met ‘Berry’. She is a Red-Vented Cockatoo, also known as Cacatua haematuropygia (try saying it like this: ca-ca-too-a hee-ma-t-yur-o-pi-jee-a)!

As you can see, Berry is mostly white and has red and yellow feathers on the underside of her tail, which you can see when she is sitting on a branch. Another name for Red-Vented Cockatoos is the Philippine Cockatoo because they are found in the Philippines, a country in Asia.

In the wild, they are classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ largely due to deforestation as a lot of their natural mangrove tree habitat has been chopped down. There are now conservation projects to protect and plant trees and this is helping the cockatoos in the wild, which is great!

Cockatoos are part of the parrot family – they are the ones with crests and they eat seeds, fruit, nuts, flowers, the bark of some trees and berries. Berry loves to eat hawthorn berries – imagine if we were all named after food we loved! What would you be called?

Berry loves her aviary home, which has two special nest boxes designed to look like hollows in a tree, just like in the wild. They are made of wood and have two entrances to give Berry and her partner, Rich Senior, a choice of ways in and out. They do like to make a few changes by chewing around the entrance holes and they get new nests each year due to their ‘improvements.’

Cockatoos use their voices to communicate and Berry can be very loud! She would love you to come and say hello to her! If you can’t make it to the Park, why not draw a picture of Berry and send it to us for her to see?

Thanks for reading – see you next time!

SuperParrot x

January 2024

For my first SuperParrot SuperMeeting, I wanted to catch up with the best birds at the Park – the Scarlet Macaws!

In the wild Scarlet Macaws live in Central and South America. Our scientific name is Ara macao and we love to eat fruit, nuts, seeds and a bit of nectar! Let me introduce you to one of my favourites, called ‘Skittles’. All Scarlet Macaws hatched at Paradise Park are named after sweets 🙂

You might remember Skittles from the news a few years ago – she is famous! Scarlet Macaws love flying and for those of us who live at Paradise Park, we get to ‘fly free’. This means that during our regular bird show events we leave our aviary home and can fly all around the Park.

A few years ago, Skittles and her brothers and sisters were flying high and a gust of wind blew them off course. Usually we stay quite close to our home area as we recognise it as a safe place and where we get our dinner, but on this day Skittles got lost and found herself about 20 miles away in Porthleven! Luckily, when her ‘Friend in Green’, Keeper and Presenter Danny, went to find her, she quickly flew back to him and he brought her home. She was a little tired and hungry but after some extra walnuts she was fine and soon back with her brothers and sisters.

Skittles hatched in August 2015, which means she is going to be 9 this summer 2024! Brilliant!

Hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about Scarlet Macaws and Skittles. See you soooooooon!

SuperParrot x

Read more about Scarlet Macaws HERE.

GALLERY
Featuring some of the Super letters and items you have sent us – THANK YOU!
Click on the images to see larger.

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