The Philadelphia Zoo's refurbished Bird House will reopen Saturday.
Visitors will find 150 colorful and exotic birds flying free among tropical plants and over a man-made waterfall in an indoor rain forest that features "12 hours of daylight." Jungle Bird Walk, once a separate exhibit, has been linked by a tunnel to Bird House, so visitors can walk from one naturalistic habitat to another without going outside.
Many exhibits in Bird House have open fronts, so birds can fly over the spectator area. In exhibits where birds can not fly free, glass enclosures have been replaced with thin wire mesh so visitors can hear as well as see them.
The neoclassical Bird House, which opened in 1916, was last renovated in 1950. Zoo officials said the building was so deteriorated that the setting was unworthy of the collection. The exhibits were outmoded and holding and breeding areas also were inadequate.
Renovation of the building, which has been closed more than a year, cost $1.5 million. The exterior of the building, located along Bird Lake, has been improved but is architecturally unchanged.
The reopening marks completion of Phase I of the zoo's 16-year-master plan to upgrade outdated exhibits, which began in 1983.
2012 McNeil Avian Center