Victoria Park Portsmouth

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Bird tales

The aviary has been a popular topic for the local papers over the years.

These extracts are from the Portsmouth Evening News.

Tuesday 13 November, 1900

“MAGPIES FOR THE PARK – An offer to send a couple of tame magpies to the aviary in the Victoria Park has been made from Miss Smith of Partlands Avenue, Ryde, and the Mayor has referred the letter containing the offer to the Parks and Open Spaces Committee for consideration.”

Wednesday 24 May, 1922

“Yesterday the interest of park strollers was taken up by the latest arrivals – two sulphur breasted toucans. These gorgeous and showy birds… are particularly fond of fruit, and quite a crowd of spectators watched these birds (which have large beaks resembling the claw of a lobster) attack two ripe bananas…

In their native haunts these birds are noted for the clever way in which they protect their young from monkeys, which are very noisome to young birds. When the birds perceive the approach of the enemy they settle themselves in their nests and poke out their bills in such a way that the monkey gets a warmer welcome than he expected and packs away.”

Friday 30 May, 1924

“The small straw shelters for protection of the birds in the Victoria Park aviary have attracted considerable attention, the skill of the straw thatcher employed having to undergo the critical scrutiny of adults and children alike during his incarceration in the birds’ cages.”