For the first time in over a decade, the Phoenix Zoo has a Spectacled Owl chick. The chick was born on February 10th to the zoo's pair of Spectacled Owls. The pair is quite experienced in rearing young having done so six times in the past, albeit not for some time. After over ten years without a baby, and with the female being 20 years old and the male 15, keepers were not sure if the lone egg laid would be fertile.
To the keepers' excitement, on the 10th of February they heard faint vocalizations coming from the nest box and realized they had a chick! However, it would be over a month until they were first able to peer into the nest box when the chick's protective parents were distracted and finally get a glimpse of the newborn. It was not until April 14th, just over two months after hatching, that the chick would fledge and give keepers a good look at their newest addition.
Photo credits: Amanda Donagi / Phoenix Zoo
The chick has continued to grow since fledging just over a month ago. It is slowly losing its natal fluffy down, replacing it with feathers. It has been observed flying around its exhibit and exploring all of the perches it has to offer. The chick's gender is still unknown and will be determined at its first health examination.
Friendship comes in many forms, and at times can be forged with the most unlikely of companions. This is often true in the animal world, and was proven this week at Kirkleatham Owl Center in Redcar, North East England. Meet ''Chop-suey'' the baby White-crested Runner Duck and ''Larch'' a tiny baby Long-eared Owl. A very odd couple, but the best of pals!
The two three-week-old babies met at the center, and are now inseparable. Initially there were a dozen duck eggs in the Center's incubator, but only one hatched, producing little Chop-suey. Although the chick was content with human company, he was not happy being left alone. Larch the Owl had been by himself there so staff put the two together and they instantly snuggled up and fell asleep!
Photo Credit: Kirkleatham Owl Center
They won't be able stay together for much longer due to their differing needs as they develop," said a spokesperson at the Center, "but while they are still very small we are more than happy for them to enjoy their time together."
Long Eared Owls are a very secretive species, but being hand reared Larch is confident around people, especially with best friend Chop-suey at his side. It is hoped that both will take part in the center's flying displays, although probably not together. Larch will be a fast flyer, while ''Chop Suey'' being a runner Duck is more of a ground bird.
Watch as these two settle in for a snooze on the video below:
On March 13 this Eurasian Eagle Owl hatched at Pittsburgh's National Aviary, the only one of its species hatched at any AZA facility in the past five years. The newly-hatched chick weighed 49.5 grams to start and has developed beautifully, doubling in size in just five days. By one month of age she was standing, walking and stretching her wings, as well as beginning public appearances to serve as an ambassador for her species. DNA testing of the egg verified what the measurements predicted: the owl is a female.
The bird’s parents, named X and Dumbledore, serve as education birds, trained to free fly in shows and perch on a glove for group programs. On September 25, during X's break from performing, she was placed in an exhibit adjacent to Dumbledore for a two-month howdy period. They were introduced, and breeding behaviors were seen within six weeks of pairing. A total of three eggs were laid every other day, the first on February 7. Shortly before hatching, the fertile egg was removed from the nest to complete incubation for hand-rearing. Click HERE to read all the details of the fascinating hatching and rearing process.
Photo Credit: National Aviary
Eurasian Eagle-owls are the largest species of owl in the world and are found in North Africa, Europe, Asia and Middle East. Females, on average, are one third larger than the male. Males weigh 4- 5 ½ pounds, while a larger female can weigh close to 7 pounds. Their height ranges from 2 to 2 ½ feet tall, with a wingspan of approximately 5 ½ feet.
See the owl on it's first TV show. Story and pictures continue after the jump:
The first television outing for the owlette was an appearance on Pittsburgh Today Live, where it perched for the first time. The baby did a great job educating people about the species, but all the activity brought on a little nap.
Taronga Zoo has got a new pair of Sooty Owlets that are charming those who have seen them. The chicks arrived at the zoo in August and have grown tremendously since then. From tiny, almost down-less chicks, they are now really beginning to look like owls, developing their distinctive heart shaped faces-- and showing individual personalities too.
At the QBE Free-flight Bird Show, Grey, their trainer, has been raising the pair of chicks to be ambassadors for their wild cousins, but they’re already capturing the imagination of those lucky enough to see them behind-the-scenes.
Photo credit: Lorinda Taylor
Also known as the Greater Sooty Owl, this bird is largely found in south-eastern Australia, the rain forests of New Guinea. The females are lighter colored than the males, and larger, measuring 14.5-17 inches (37-43 cm) long and weighing 1.6-2.2 pounds (750-1000 gm); whiile the males length is about the same, they weigh only 1.1-1.5 pounds (500-700 gm). Both have a wingspan of almost 12-16 inches (30-40 cm).
They get their name from the dark gray silver or sooty black feathering on their faces with a heavy black edge. The upper part of the owl is black to dark gray and the under part is lighter, with spots on their wing feathers. The tail is short and the legs are feathered large black talons.
Their call is a piercing shriek which can last up to two seconds. They are nocturnal and hide in hollow tree trunks, caves and in tall trees with heavy foliage.
See more pictures of the Sooty Owlets after the fold:
Two Sooty Owls hatched on August 3 and August 5 at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. The chicks are being hand-reared for future use in the zoo’s free-flight bird show, which introduces zoo visitors to the wonderful world of birds.
Taronga Zoo Keeper Grey Fisher is caring for the Sooty Owl chicks round-the-clock. In an online diary detailing the chicks’ daily care, Fisher describes waking at 5:00 AM to chop mice to hand-feed the owlets; cleaning up castings regurgitated by the birds; seeing the owls open their eyes for the first time; and watching them learn how to preen their brand-new pinfeathers. Fisher notes that both birds are steadily gaining weight and becoming feistier as they grow.
Sooty Owls are native to southeastern Australia and the forests of New Guinea, where they hunt for small mammals, birds, and insects. As adults, they have distinctively large dark eyes, with a dark gray or sooty black facial disk. Sooty Owls produce a wide range of calls, including one that sounds like a “falling bomb.”
Photo Credits: Taronga Zoo
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo welcomed two Kori Bustard chicks that hatched June 9 and 10. Keepers are hand-raising the chicks, which increases the likelihood that the chicks will breed successfully once they reach sexual maturity. Hand-rearing has another benefit; several wild birds of prey reside on Zoo grounds, and raising the chicks inside the Bird House eliminates the chance of conflict. The Zoo’s Nutrition department developed a specialized diet that contains pellets, crickets, peas, greens and fruit, and keepers feed the chicks every two hours between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Although the chicks will not be on exhibit until late August, Zoo visitors can see their parents at the Kori Bustard exhibit, located outside of the Bird House.
Also making their summer debut at the Zoo’s Bird House are two Burrowing Owl chicks, hatched on May 24. At first the chicks are helpless and their eyes are closed. By age 2½ weeks, they are able to control their body temperature and begin to emerge from their burrows to beg for food. At 3 weeks old, they begin jumping and flapping their wings, and at 4 weeks, they are able to take short flights. Visitors can easily identify the chicks by their juvenile plumage, which lacks any of the white bars and spots of the adults. Burrowing Owls are one of the smallest owl species in North America. The average adult is 10 inches in length—slightly larger than an American Robin.
Photo Credit: Smithsonian National Zoo
Pennsylvania's ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park has expanded its animal family with the arrival of several new babies. Among them include these hand-raised baby Burrowing Owls that hatched at the end of May. The fertile eggs were brought to ZooAmerica from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Unlike other owls, burrowing owls are active during the day and nest in the ground. The three Burrowing Owl chicks are currently in a holding area in the Animal Health Center, with plans to introduce two of them to The Great Southwest region in the future. The third owl will reside in the Zoo’s education department for outreach and onsite programming. The Zoo currently has one resident burrowing owl on exhibit.
Like many zoos, ZooAmerica keeps most newborns off exhibit until the Zoo naturalists determine if the animal has matured enough to be placed on exhibit or sent to another zoo. These animals are kept in the Zoo’s Animal Health Center, where they are monitored and cared for daily.
Read more about ZooAmerica after the jump:
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.
News from the UK's Longleat Safari & Adventure Park: A pair of tiny hand-reared baby Burrowing Owls have taken to using teacups to roost in during the day. The owlets, nicknamed Linford and Christie (as they were hatched in the year of the London Olympics), are being cared for by keeper Jimmy Robinson.
They hatched at the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Andover six weeks ago in February in an incubator and have had to be hand reared now. “Basically I have had to have them with me 24 hours a day every day and that means taking them home with me in the evening and getting up in the middle of the night to feed them,” Jimmy said, adding, “I spend so much time with them they do look at me as their surrogate mom and will follow me around the house or sit on my shoulder. They also enjoy the security of sitting inside their teacups and like to find small spaces on my bookshelf and in between my DVD collection to snuggle up into."
Found throughout the Americas, the burrowing owl is so named because itlives in underground burrows that have been dug out by small mammals such asprairie dogs and ground squirrels. Unlike most owls they are active during the day.
Read more after the jump...
Snow is in the forecast at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA, with the hatching of a Snowy Owl chick on June 13! The chick marks the first offspring between the mom, estimated to be 22 years old, and the father, 14 years old. It's gender has not been determined.
“At this time the chick isn’t visible to visitors because the mom is sitting on the nest and providing very good care,” curator Jennifer Pramuk said in a statement from the Zoo. “Our expert zookeepers are monitoring the owlet, which appears to be in good health. It’s growing very quickly, so visitors should be able to spot it in a week or two.”
In zoos, the Snowy Owl population experienced a dramatic decline due to West Nile virus, which is spread by infected mosquitoes to birds. Owls and hawks were especially susceptible to the virus, causing acute death. Few zoos have been successful in breeding Snowy Owls within recent years.