The Bird Sanctuary on the Maharajah Jungle Trek

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

One of my favorite areas in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is on the Maharajah Jungle Trek. The Asian tigers are a crowd favorite on the trail but do not overlook the bird sanctuary. Grab a large bird identification chart as you enter to enhance your enjoyment. You will also see some very ornate bird houses just as a real Maharajah may have had in a royal bird sanctuary which was popular in Asia. Today, many of those sanctuaries still exist as national parks and refuges.

A royal bird palace in the sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Royal bird palace in the sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, 65mm focal length

Let’s meet some of the exotic bird species in the Maharajah Jungle Trek bird sanctuary. It helps to have a lens with a focal length of 200mm or better. If you have a P&S with a 10x zoom or better that will work great to.

The male Mandarin Duck is Asia’s version of the North American Wood Duck. Brightly colored and sometimes hard to tell it is a living waterfowl as they are as ornate as the bird house palaces in the sanctuary.

Mandarin Duck in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Mandarin Duck in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 1000, EV +0.3, 155mm focal length

The Emerald Dove is the state bird of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. With ’emerald’ in the name, you can see why these pigeons were popular with the royal casts.

Emerald Dove in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Emerald Dove in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 5600, EV 0, 300mm focal length

As their name implies, Jambu Fruit Doves eat fruit directly from trees or from items dropped by hornbills or monkeys. Like other doves but, unlike most birds, it can drink by sucking.

Jambu Fruit Dove in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Jambu Fruit Dove in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 320, EV 0, 300mm focal length

Masked Plovers or Lapwings spend most of their time on the ground searching for food such as insects and worms and has several distinctive calls. Their bright and distinctive ‘masked’ face is easy to spot in the Maharajah Jungle Trek bird sanctuary.

Masked Plover in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Masked Plover in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 250, EV -0.3, 200mm focal length

Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 Replies to “The Bird Sanctuary on the Maharajah Jungle Trek”

  1. I love your pictures of the birds; they are so vibrant that they almost don’t look real.

    The birdhouse looks like a replica of a spirit house. Some Asian Buddhists build these near their homes as a way to invite good spirits near them to protect them. They will decorate them and put food and other offerings on them.

    Scott replies: These birds are vibrant. Some are hard to get a good photo of. Still have a few I need to get.

    Thank you for the information on the spirit house. I think you are correct as that would be a detail Disney would use. I will ask a cast member next time I am there to see if they are indeed spirit homes.

  2. These photos are beautiful! Thanks for doing such great work. We… the photo challanged (tho we try our best) salute you!

    Scott replies: You’re welcome! If you have any questions or need help with something, please, tell us. We will do our best to give assistance.

  3. LOVE your birds. We had Mandarins at home when I was growing up…so he’s my favorite.

    Listening to the Lost Boys podcast now. I cannot wait to get back to WDW with my camera. I’m planning to spend a little time without the family just so I can shoot away. I’ve never done anything like that. Photography has always been secondary on my past trips.

    Scott replies: I now how you feel about take some time away from the family. It will let you see more as you will not feel rushed. In fact, take the first 15 minutes and DO NOT photograph anything. Let your mind relax first. Than, have fun!

  4. Scott,
    Your pictures are always great, but these pictures of the birds are fantastic! I really appreciate all your hard work on this blog. 🙂

    Scott replies: Thank you so much, Samantha!