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Last Updated: Friday, 21 March 2008, 11:57 GMT
In pictures: Zoo's new birdhouse


For the first time, visitors to London Zoo can come nose-to-beak with some of the world's most beautiful - and rare - birds, including hummingbirds, kookaburras and toucans.

A Peking robin feeds on papaya fruit

The Blackburn Pavilion, built in 1883 to house reptiles, has been modernised to showcase up to 200 rare and exotic birds, like this Peking Robin, in a naturalistic, free-flying arena.

Birds at London Zoo

The attraction, renovated at a cost of 2.5m, allows visitors to walk among tropical plants, pools and an indoor waterfall surrounded by the sounds of birdsong.

Blue-bellied roller

Among the collection is this blue-bellied roller, about to have its lunch...

Blue-bellied roller's maggot on the menu for the large bird, with its brilliant blue wings - not an uncommon sight in African savannahs.

Montserrat Oriole bird feeding on maggots

Less common though, is the Montserrat Oriole. The national bird of the island of Montserrat is classified as critically endangered.

Amazilia hummingbird. PA handout. Picture courtesy of the Zoological Society of London

This Amazilia hummingbird, capable of flying backwards, sideways and up and down, is part of the UK's only living collection of hummingbirds.

Red Crested Turaco. PA handout. Picture courtesy of the Zoological Society of London

In recent years, London Zoo has been trying to bring down the bars to give visitors a closer look at its collections.

A tour of London Zoo's new tropical bird enclosure

London Zoo's new bird enclosure
20 Mar 08 |  London

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