Jurong BirdPark, with a collection of 9,000 birds from more than 600 species, showcases Southeast Asian breeds plus other colorful tropical beauties, some of which are endangered. The more than 20 hectares (49 acres) can be easily walked or, for S$5 extra, you can ride the panorail for a bird's-eye view (so to speak) of the grounds. I enjoy the Waterfall Aviary, the world's largest walk-in aviary. It's an up-close-and-personal experience with African and South American birds, plus a pretty stroll through landscaped tropical forest. This is where you'll also see the world's tallest man-made waterfall, but the true feat of engineering here is the panorail station, built inside the aviary. Another smaller walk-in aviary is for Southeast Asian endangered bird species; at noon every day, this aviary experiences a man-made thunderstorm, and in the Lory Loft, a couple of dollars on bird feed buys you a swooping entourage of colorful friends. The daily guided tours and regularly scheduled feeding times are enlightening. Other bird exhibits are the flamingo pools, the World of Darkness (featuring nocturnal birds), and the penguin parade, a favorite for Singaporeans, who adore all things arctic.

The World of Hawks show at 10am and Kings of the Skies at 4pm feature birds of prey either acting out their natural instincts or performing falconry tricks. The Birds n' Buddies show takes place at 11am and 3pm, with trained parrots that race bikes and birds that perform all sorts of silliness, including staged birdie misbehaviors. There's also a Children's Parrot Show at 1pm.