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Latest: Two brand new habitats open at the San Diego Zoo

SAN DIEGO — A new state-of-the-art hummingbird habitat is set to open at the San Diego Zoo on Tuesday.

FOX 5 got an inside look at the William E. Cole Hummingbird Habitat before it opens to the public on June 1. It is next to Komodo Kingdom, another brand new exhibit, at the entrance to the Sanford Children’s Zoo. 

The 3,800 square-foot aviary is infinity-loop-shaped and will be home to three species of hummingbirds and 14 species of birds from South America. It features streams, cascading water, orchids and other epiphytes. There is a cenote-themed pool that guests can view from an observation bridge along the pathway.

A look at the hummingbird habitat while it was under construction at the San Diego Zoo. (San Diego Zoo)

To achieve a natural and intimate atmosphere, the plants in and around the aviary were selected with each bird’s native ranges in mind.

“We have these sections that are wire, but we have electric blinds that come down when it’s going to be especially cold at night,” David Rimlinger, curator of birds for San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, said.

While state-of-the-art technology and tools were essential for this project, the zoo says conservation was top of mind in every element, from the materials chosen for the project to the landscaping. 

“We took over 100 trees, boxed them and relocated them to a safe location,” Eamonn Farrell, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Project Manager, said. “And then what they’ll do is, after we’ve re-sculpted this area, they go back in in different locations.”

The new Kenneth C. Griffin Komodo Kingdom is also set to open at the zoo on June 1.