On the Inclusion of Birds

There is often discussion about adding aviaries and birds to Planet Zoo. Often this becomes a debate around whether or not it's feasible to make flying birds full habitat animals, or some kind of exhibit animal like the reptiles and invertebrates.

Personally I'm of the opinion that we should expect to see something like the aviary in Jurassic World Evolution - which is something in between a habitat animal and an exhibit animal, but closer to an exhibit animal. That is to say, I think we will get aviaries, but the birds we put into them will exist on an animation loop. I'm okay with this, as I like that model and it would be enough to make my zoos feel realistic without adding too much in terms of management to an already busy in-game schedule, but I digress;

I have been thinking about whether there's a way to get the best of both worlds. What I mean is, aviaries that we can custom-build, but with birds that are neither full habitat animals or just exhibit animals. The only thing I could think of was a mechanic that allows us to create our own flight-paths for birds.

How would this work? In theory, even if the birds were like the pterosaurs in JWE, they would have a flight-path that is in-built and cannot be changed. An elegant yet complicated solution might be to let us 'draw' the flight-path of the birds we place in the aviary in a similar way to the way we 'draw' paths or barriers or ride tracks. So in essence, you build a custom aviary using some new barrier mechanic or building pieces (or again, something in between that is a totally new feature), add scenery, add a 'nest box' or something that would generate the animal when you add it, and then when you add the animal you can create a flight path by selecting safe routes (i.e. routes that do not clash with scenery) and 'perching points' (i.e. places where the birds can land). I think the biggest challenge in creating a feature like this would be stopping birds from colliding, and allowing for shared space, e.g. areas where two flight paths or perching points cross over.

The next challenge would be deciding which birds are viable inclusions. Obviously we would all like to see birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, vultures, or owls, and others such as parrots and toucans, but these are all relatively large and easy to manage. Smaller birds like the Bali mynah (a focus of modern conservation projects) might be harder to include due to their size.There's also the added issue of birds flocking and how to handle that as an in-game mechanic (which is why I personally don't think making them true habitat animals is doable).

Anyway, just wanted to share my musings on the subject. It was largely inspired by the thought of New Zealand's birds making it in one day, as nearly all of our native fauna are birds.
 
I’d definitely have to agree with you. Same as jwe. There was talk on them being habitat animals on Reddit but that’s tough to pull off. I think they might be able to do it but there’s still so much to be covered this would simply be the easiest way which I’m ok with. On steam they were saying doubtful to birds and guaranteed marine content. I think it’s the other way around for sure. Like I said if we got seals and penguins I’d be happy with that.
 
As I have said elsewhere I think custom build aviaries are a must, not only for birds but for primates, cats and other animals.

I’d be happy with birds that are behaviourally simplified and many aren’t always that active, such as owls for example which spend much of their time perched in a corner.
 
As I have said elsewhere I think custom build aviaries are a must, not only for birds but for primates, cats and other animals.

I’d be happy with birds that are behaviourally simplified and many aren’t always that active, such as owls for example which spend much of their time perched in a corner.
I don't know if it's necessary to include 'custom built aviaries' to get meshed/chain roofed enclosures for other animals. If they introduced chain-link/mesh building pieces it would serve the same purpose.
 
That’s what I mean by custom build aviaries, building pieces to make aviaries.
Currently building pieces don't work as barriers unless you include the null fencing, so I'm not sure it would work that way. Usually when I hear 'custom-built aviaries' I assume people are talking about some new kind of habitat construction.
 
Currently building pieces don't work as barriers unless you include the null fencing, so I'm not sure it would work that way. Usually when I hear 'custom-built aviaries' I assume people are talking about some new kind of habitat construction.
You’d have to use the annoying null barrier as you say. Building pieces should just act as fencing.
 
Currently building pieces don't work as barriers unless you include the null fencing, so I'm not sure it would work that way. Usually when I hear 'custom-built aviaries' I assume people are talking about some new kind of habitat construction.
You’d have to use the annoying null barrier as you say. Building pieces should just act as fencing.
The null-fencing would only act as a mean to point out the habitat boundaries. Scenery pieces work excellent at this moment for containing animals.

I think birds are already possible with some additional programming so they know where the barrier pieces are.

I also think birds might be a memory issue because you can have so many of them so the game can't handle them.
I would like to have them though, but there are so many animals I and many others surely want.
 
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I think birds are already possible with some additional programming so they know where the barrier pieces are.
I don't think the problem is barrier collision, I think it's collision with scenery pieces. As an example, you can easily have two macaws land on the same branch in real life, right? How does Frontier choose which branches of randomly placed trees can be landed on in a custom-built aviary? How do they programme two birds not to land in the exact same spot? How do they programme a bird not to fly in the exact same path at the exact same time as another bird, and not stop in the exact same place, while also dodging myriad pieces of foliage and rocks in the habitats? Traversible terrain becomes a problem because there's now a vertical axis.
 
Personally I don't think they put that much effort in this.

Just a similar feature like the exhibit (maybe different sizes)
And for the bigger birds (like pelicans/crane birds/vultures) just a habitat.

A bit difficult to explain: What I'd like to see is an expansion on the barrier building - selecting a shape (glass square or circle/dome) and select the ground space and height, you want to use for this shape.
Add 2 gates (1 entrance, 1 exit) and connect to an existing path - so people are able to walk through the habitat. And add birds like the exhibit animals, with just random movements. (and take the exact same spot for 2 animals for granted, if that happens)

Edit: Walking through an exhibit should be an extra, placing such an exhibit next to a path should be sufficient to look at them as well (like a regular habitat)
My sister-in-law has a bird-phobia and in some zoos you are forced to walk among the birds.. She highly prefers to look at them from a distance :D
 
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It'll probably be something exactly like JWE's aviaries and the already present terrariums. Buy a pre built aviary, and then add the birds. They fly in looped animations
 
It'll probably be something exactly like JWE's aviaries and the already present terrariums. Buy a pre built aviary, and then add the birds. They fly in looped animations
Same... If they decide to add it - my guess would be a feature similar to JWE.
Feels like to be the logical answer, especially from the same dev.

But hoping/wishing for a better feature, is fine by me..
I don't have that much expectation for aviaries - so any inclusion of smaller birds would be a surprise.

Bigger birds like pelicans/crane birds/vultures, would be nicer though… We already have flamingos, so that doesn't look impossible to wish for :D
 
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There are so many birds that are mostly ground dwelling which could be included easily like:

  • pheasants
  • guinea fowl
  • pelicans
  • storks
  • cranes
  • emu
  • kiwi
  • cassowary
  • rhea
  • ducks
  • geese
  • swans
  • tinamou
  • turkeys
  • jungle fowl
  • Congo peafowl
  • green peafowl

And probably more that I’ve forgotten
 
Personally I don't think they put that much effort in this.
It'll probably be something exactly like JWE's aviaries and the already present terrariums. Buy a pre built aviary, and then add the birds. They fly in looped animations
Just to clarify, I agree with you both. This thread was more of a "here's an idea that could potentially work" thread, not a "I think this will happen" thread. As I said in the OP, I definitely think the JWE aviaries are what we should expect for PZ (and that includes large birds such as vultures - it'd be silly if we were forced to keep those sorts of big birds in open-air habitats where they could theoretically just fly away).

We will see, though. I don't think birds are very high on Frontier's list, though, not with so many 'regular' animals already missing, and so much work needing to be done on the exhibits we already have without creating and adding aviaries, too.
 
I think flying would be more like climbing is included in the Game instead of flying Birds only being in non customizable Aviarys. If they do it like this, they should fix Roofs for Enclosures that were made out of Building-Pieces (last Time I tried to make a Roof just out of Building-Pieces, the Animals were able to climb trough the Roof before I made the Fence climb proof). They could also make something like the climb proof Option for Fences but instead there will be a Net over the Enclosure to prevent Birds and maybe Bats from escaping
 
They could also make something like the climb proof Option for Fences but instead there will be a Net over the Enclosure to prevent Birds and maybe Bats from escaping
Also nice idea....
The other option is less popular, Grooming/unbalancing flight feathers.

Had to google the name but this one has open-air vulture exhibit - Bioparc de Doué-la-Fontaine (visited this one a while ago)
and found a video. (2:50 and 5:50 for the vultures)
 
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Also nice idea....
The other option is less popular, Grooming/unbalancing flight feathers.

Had to google the name but this one has open-air vulture exhibit - Bioparc de Doué-la-Fontaine (visited this one a while ago)
and found a video. (2:50 and 5:50 for the vultures)
I don't not know why you call it less popular, clipping wings and permanently removing parts of the wing is not that uncommon in zoos, just look at flamingos. Pelicans and cranes are other good examples.

There are so many birds that are mostly ground dwelling which could be included easily like:

  • pheasants
  • guinea fowl
  • pelicans
  • storks
  • cranes
  • emu
  • kiwi
  • cassowary
  • rhea
  • ducks
  • geese
  • swans
  • tinamou
  • turkeys
  • jungle fowl
  • Congo peafowl
  • green peafowl

And probably more that I’ve forgotten
I think you got the majority. You forgot the roadrunners (meep meep :p ) kakapo, seriemas, secretary bird, bustards, the flightless cormorant, ground hornbills and penguins.
All of these could just be kept in habitats, with or without mesh pieces or flyproof options to cover it.

I wouldn't mind having aviaries, similar to the exhibits, for smaller species, or bigger aviaries where guest can walk through that house a mix of smaller species with preset fly animation. .
But for bigger species (mainly birds of prey) i do really hope that Frontier will look into a better (less premade) option or give us a flyproof option for habitats like Urufu proposed.
 
I don't not know why you call it less popular, clipping wings and permanently removing parts of the wing is not that uncommon in zoos, just look at flamingos. Pelicans and cranes are other good examples.
Good point.. I meant in the people's opinion - a lot of people don't know they clip wings or don't like it (consider it cruelty).
Sorry, should've specified it more carefully....

I don't mean 'popular' in the use within zoos. I know in a lot of countries it's very common to clip the wings of flamingos, while others just leave them as they are.
(I think i've read somewhere if they have enough food/feel safe - they don't feel the need to fly away).
Since we already have flamingos and nobody complains about them not able to fly away, I don't think many people in PZ would object the same approach with other bigger birds.

About vultures, I know a zoo has them in aviaries and don't clip them and some have them clipped/pinioned and you can even walk in their habitat. It differs per zoo.
 
I think you got the majority. You forgot the roadrunners (meep meep :p ) kakapo, seriemas, secretary bird, bustards, the flightless cormorant, ground hornbills and penguins.
All of these could just be kept in habitats, with or without mesh pieces or flyproof options to cover it.
There are no kakapo in captivity and no kakapo outside of New Zealand. This is because of conservation. The only captive kakapo have been injured birds that are eventually released back into the wild after a short stay, never permanent zoo residents. It'd be hugely detrimental to them if they were given out to zoos. Since PZ is based on conservation, education, and realism (as best it can be), I don't think the kakapo will ever be included.

Of course, I'm not hopeful for any New Zealand fauna. We're not a major region and very few zoos have our animals outside of New Zealand itself.
 
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