BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 March 2008, 08:19 GMT
London Zoo's new bird enclosure
Socorro dove
The bird enclosure will have the rare Socorro dove
Some of the world's most beautiful - and rare - birds are flying free among visitors to a new enclosure at London Zoo.

The attraction has been renovated at a cost of 2.5m to showcase the central London zoo's exotic birds.

The Victorian Blackburn Pavilion has been modernised to involve visitors with up to 200 tropical birds.

It includes the UK's only collection of hummingbirds and Socorro doves - a species extinct in the wild.

The Blackburn Pavilion was originally built in 1883 to house reptiles.

Its original entrance porch has been reopened to visitors after many years of disuse, and a giant mechanical cuckoo clock will stand outside the building.

Queen Victoria impersonator Sylvia Strange presented the launch, alongside an impersonator playing her lady-in-waiting.

Over the past few years London Zoo has been undergoing changes to allow visitors to get closer to 650 different species of animals.

Last year saw the opening of its Gorilla Kingdom, while work to revamp the Children's Zoo is likely to start in 2009.

A tour of London Zoo's new tropical bird enclosure

In pictures: Zoo's new birdhouse
21 Mar 08 |  In Pictures
Rainforest exhibit opens at zoo
24 May 07 |  London
Animal heat shown in zoo images
05 Feb 08 |  England
Zoo's photo archive goes online
01 Oct 07 |  London
Zoo celebrating rare dove birth
30 Oct 06 |  London

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific