Three healthy Northern Gannet chicks hatched at Zoo am Meer Bremerhaven on the Northern coast of Germany,
on May 21 and on June 5
and 18. In the early 1980s, Zoo am Meer
was the first zoo to
successfully breed Northern Gannets in captivity. Up
until today, Bremerhaven has remained one of very
few European zoos to have successful hatchings of Northern Gannet chicks almost
Photo credits: Joachim Schoene / Zoo Am Meer Bremerhaven
to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened
Species, the bird is listed as a species of Least Concern. Found along both sides of the Atlantic
Ocean, Northern Gannets are a common bird with an uncommon ability: with an
adult wingspan measuring nearly six feet (175 cm), these marine birds catch
shoaling fish by nose-diving from heights of up to 130 feet (40 m). In the
wild they are colonial, making nests of grasses and seaweed on coastal ledges
and hilltops. Colonies breed in northern France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, and the eastern tip of Quebec. Pairs
produce a single egg in the month of May, which is brooded with the feet for
about 45 days. After five years, young Northern Gannets develop the elegant
white and black plumage of mature adults.
A new Ornate Hawk-eagle hatched at Sao Paulo Zoo, on April 15. The chick is a male, and has been named Chronus by the biologists of the park. Like most birds, this species grows very fast. It was hatched weighing around 50 grams, and after just one month he weighs 10 times as much! Since the first day, the hatchling has been fed a diet of mice. At this stage of development, he's comsuming meals 3 times a day, and is expected to grow to an adult weight of close to 1000 gms.
Once fully grown, this bird will have strikingly colored plumage and piercing golden eyes He will also develop strong muscular feet bearing long, sharp talons, used along with a sharp, hooked bill to tear the flesh and break the bones of it's prey. The Ornate Hawk-eagle is a highly endangered species in the state of Sao Paulo, and not many zoos in the world have the privilege of keeping and breeding this formidible animal.
Photo Credit: Carlos Nader
Click here to see this fuzzy chick strengthening his legs taking wobbly steps and coming out of the incubator to get a snack. (The narratoin to the video below is in Portugese)
There's a nest with four Roseate Spoonbill chicks at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, but these guys aren't 'on the inventory', so to speak: a pair of wild Spoonbills chose to nest right outside of the zoo's Spoonbill exhibit!
Born earlier this month, all four chicks have survived and are growing fast. At just six weeks old, the chicks will fledge and leave the nest. But for now, they're still losing their fuzzy down and starting to show their first flight feathers. Developing flight feathers are at first surrounded by a protective sheath made of keratin, which the bird eventually removes by preening, allowing the feather to continue its development. In the photos below, these new pinfeathers look a bit like plastic straws.
Wesa, a two-week-old California Condor chick, hatched on February 24, 2013, making this chick the first of the season at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Wesa has maintained a healthy weight and has quite an appetite according to keepers, eating up to 15 mice daily.
Ron Webb, a San Diego Zoo Safari Park senior Condor keeper, has been monitoring Wesa closely and has been puppet rearing the chick as part of preparing Wesa to be released into the wild one day.
Photo credits: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park
"The puppet is like a fancy glove," said Rob Webb, senior Condor keeper, "It covers our hands so the chick does not get any beneficial experiences from people. We do not want it imprinting on people or getting used to us when it goes out into the wild. We want it to be a nice, wild animal, not relying on people for food."
Wesa is a part of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park's highly successful California Condor breeding program. Since the California Condor Recovery Program began in the 1980s, when there were only 22 condors left in the world, the Safari Park has hatched 173 chicks and released more than 80 birds into the wild. Today, there are over 400 condors, half of which are flying free at release sites in Baja California, Mexico, California and Arizona.
It is with great pride that Zoo Miami officially announces the hatching of an endangered Harpy Eagle! Here are several images that Ron Magill was extremely fortunate to capture friday morning (after patiently waiting over 3 ½ hours for the mother to allow him a view!) of the chick being fed by its mother. In addition, we’ve included two images that Ron was able to take of the chick when it was only 9 days old so you can see how much it has grown in 3 weeks.
On July 9th and 11th, the Brookfield Zoo welcomed two Tawny Frogmouth chicks. Often mistaken for owls, these Australian birds also hunt at night, but prefer to relax and let their prey come to them, sometimes literally waiting for insects to crawl onto their feathers before snacking.
For reasons unknown, these chicks' parents—Eunice, who is on loan from Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina, and Gullet, who is from SeaWorld Orlando—abandoned the nest about halfway during the incubation period. To give the unborn chicks a chance at life, staff pulled the eggs and placed them in an incubator. Once the eggs hatched, they received round-the-clock care. Now at 3 weeks old, they have grown, are eating well, and appear to have a bright future ahead of them.
The pairing of the adults was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Tawny Frogmouth Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation program for select species in accredited AZA zoos and aquariums. Each SSP manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. Until the chicks are a little older, they will remain off exhibit while being cared for by Animal Programs staff. Guests are able to see the adult pair in the zoo’s Feathers and Scales building. The species is monogamous.
Tennessee Aquarium aviculturists (bird keepers!) have their hands full caring for a pair of Macaroni Penguin chicks. “These baby penguins are absolutely adorable with fuzzy flippers, oversized feet and pudgy little bellies,” said senior aviculturist Amy Graves. “They are portly, but that’s great. We like to see vocal chicks that spend a good part of their day begging their parents for food.”
The first baby was born on May 24th to parents Hercules and Shamrock. This is their first chick at the Aquarium and the parents appear to be very diligent, although they don’t share the same duties. “Hercules is the protector. He only feeds the chick about 10 percent of the time,” said aviculturist Loribeth Aldrich. “But he is constantly watching over the baby even when mom is in the nest.” Fortunately, Aldrich says Shamrock really has a strong feeding instinct that more than satisfies a very vocal, and very hungry chick. “Normally chicks will beg and beg for food, but I’ve actually seen her feed this chick so full that he just stops begging,” said Aldrich. “He’s like, I’ve had enough.” Aquarium guests can see this baby penguin near the center of the exhibit inside an acrylic “playpen” which keeps it from accidently going into the water before it grows large enough to do so safely.
Paulie and Chaos, the Macaroni pair that successfully raised “Pepper” - the Aquarium’s first-ever baby penguin, are in a backup area with their chick. Paulie was involved in a scuffle with at least one other male early in the breeding season. “Aggressive behavior among males is not uncommon while they are building nests, so this couple was moved to a backup area for what was supposed to be a short time,” said Aldrich. “But when Chaos laid her second egg in this backup area, we decided they were comfortable enough to stay there until we saw what would happen with the egg. Now it looks like they’ll stay here until this chick is big enough to go on exhibit.” Both of the parents get time with the rest of the colony to swim and then they head back to feed and tend to their chick. As proven parents, they continue to feed this chick well.
Senior aviculturist Amy Graves and aviculturist Loribeth Aldrich hold the Tennessee Aquarium’s two new macaroni penguin babies
Keepers will continue to monitor the progress of both chicks closely as there are still many potential pitfalls for young birds to overcome. But if they continue to progress as quickly as they’ve started, Aquarium guests might see them outside the nests in a few weeks. “We’ll begin supervised walkabouts with the other penguins when their swim feathers grow in,” said Graves. “But even then we’ll have to see how the other birds react to the newcomers.”
Meet Linton Zoo's newest and fluffiest little addition: a Turkmenian Eagle Owlet named Hüwi, which is Turkmen for “Eagle owl.” When keepers noticed that Hüwi's owl mom, named Rohan, wasn't quite as attentive as she should be, they stepped in to hand-rear the chick. In addition to the human care, the Linton Zoo's gentle resident tabby, Arnie, has also stepped in to befriend the chick, who appears cautiously curious (more on Arnie at the bottom). Weighing just 50 grams (<2 ounces) at birth, three weeks later the chick weighs a healthy, and hefty, full kilo (2.2lbs).
The Turkmenian Eagle Owl is one of the largest owls in the world, eventually reaching around 4.5kg (10lbs) and is closely related to the slightly larger European Eagle Owl. Sadly, this spectacular bird may now be extinct in its native range in Central Asia. Very few pure bred birds remain in captivity so Hüwi is an invaluable addition to the survival of this species.
Both of Hüwi's parents were also hatched at Linton Zoo. Dad, Pip, will be 23 years old this year and Rohan is now 5. Two of last years owlets, Igor and Misha, remain at Linton Zoo and a third brother has gone to live at Woburn Wild Animal Park.
The Philippine Eagle Foundation announced a first in its conservation breeding program. They successfully hatched a Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle chick on April 2 at their conservation breeding facility after an incubation period of 48 days. The chick is the first Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus pinskeri) bred and hatched in captivity. It came from a natural pair of parents and weighed a mere 57.2 grams when it hatched.
Once it reaches adulthood, this medium-sized eagle will look like the third picture below. It will have a light brown body with a brown, black and white belly and a dark brown tail striped with four to five darker, narrow bands. Its head and under parts will be reddish-brown with black streaks, while the throat will be white. And its wings will become broad and rounded.
The Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle, endemic to the Philippines, is a species of bird of prey in the Acciptridae family. It is considered threatened because of the loss of its natural habitat - the subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest. PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said, “The fast diminishing forests and destruction of their habitats are still the biggest threats to their survival. We need everyone’s contribution to ensure that the Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle population will increase, especially in the wild."
Photo Credits: Philippine Eagle Foundation
Read more about the eagle and PEF's conservation efforts after the jump:
The Red-legged Seriema is one of South America's largest terrestrial birds. While it can fly short distances, it prefers to run on its long, powerful legs rather than use its short, stumpy wings. This two week old chick was hatched at SeaWorld Orlando on April 30. The current Seriema population in U.S. zoos is only 62, and the last bird was hatched in 2009, so each hatchling is precious to the population.
SeaWorld Orlando's resident bird expert, Sherry Rodriguez, has been hand-raising the chick and it’s doing very well (see photo at bottom). This is a huge commitment -- she takes it home every night for round-the-clock feedings and even uses a feather duster in its brooder (incubator) to simulate the mother bird’s feathers.
The central habitat of the Red-legged Seriema is in the grassy, savanna-like cerrados of central Brazil. The species is also found farther south in the grasslands and woodland subtropical areas in southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. The diet of the Seriema is largely animal food, specifically insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles, and spiders but they also enjoy small invertebrates such as lizards, frogs and snakes. Fruits, seeds and leaves are also consumed but are a very small percentage of their diet.
Photo credits: Jason Collier | Photographer, SeaWorld Orlando