Zoo Miami is proud to announce the recent hatching of two remarkable chicks. For the first time in the Zoo’s history, keepers welcomed the arrival of a Secretary Bird and a Great Blue Turaco.
The Great Blue Turaco hatched on February 7th after an incubation period of 31 days and weighed just over 40 grams.
Great Blue Turacos are the largest of all of the Turacos, reaching an overall length of 30 inches and a weight of close to 3 pounds. They are found in the canopies of forests in Central and Western Africa and feed on a variety of fruits, leaves, flowers, shoots and insects.
The Secretary Bird hatched on February 15th after an incubation of 42 days and weighed just over 86 grams.
Secretary Birds are found in African savannahs and woodlands, south of the Sahara, and have the longest legs of any bird of prey. They grow to be almost 5 feet tall with a wingspan that can approach 7 feet.
Though they will eat a variety of reptiles and small mammals, they are famous for hunting and eating snakes, including venomous ones. They hunt by walking on the ground and, when they see a prey species, will stomp on it with great quickness and force until it is incapacitated and can be eaten.
They get their name from their resemblance to male secretaries of the early 1700’s who wore gray tail coats and placed quilled pens behind their ears, which are replicated in appearance by the specialized feathers that stick out of the back of the head of Secretary Birds.
The Great Blue Turaco is currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. However, the Secretary Bird is classified as “Vulnerable”.
Young Secretary Birds are preyed upon by crows, ravens, hornbills, large owls and kites, as they are vulnerable in their Acacia tree top nests. As a population, their main threats are loss of habitat and deforestation.
More great pics below the fold!