Caroline Bay’s Space-Age Aviary Closes for Refurb

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Published: 11 Mar 2021

The aviary at Caroline Bay will close for approximately two months from tomorrow for refurbishment.

The major work will be the replacement of the forty year old netting on the geodesic dome section of the aviary, which was built in the early 80s and rebuilt in its current site in 2009.

The $70,000 restoration job will also see a refresh of the vegetation in the free flight area and cleaning of all the facilities.

There has been an aviary in some form at Caroline Bay since the first one was gifted by the Caroline Bay Association (CBA) in 1930.

The geodesic dome people know today didn’t start out life as an aviary, it was originally designed to house a lunar module on display at Ferrymead Heritage Park. It was purchased by the CBA and brought to Timaru in 1981. A community fundraising initiative led by the Timaru Bird Club helped relocate it to its current position in 2009.

Parks and Recreation Manager Bill Steans said that although the re-netting will take about 5 weeks, catching and relocating all the birds to other local aviaries safely was a complex part of the job.

“It’s critical to the health of the birds that we don’t cause them too much undue stress by moving them. Security fencing will be erected around the aviary so that the birds are more relaxed enabling relocation to other aviaries,” he said.

“In order to reduce the amount of handling of the birds we are making modifications to one of the smaller cages that we can use to catch the birds by feeding them in that location and closing a large trap door.”

Aviaries at the Timaru Botanic Gardens and Temuka Domain will remain open during this period.

Last updated: 11 Mar 2021