The first Lear’s Macaw to hatch in captivity in Latin America popped out of its egg on April 13 at Brazil’s São Paulo Zoo. These photos show the chick’s growth from hatching to age three months.
Photo Credit: Sao Paulo Zoo
This was not the first egg for parents Francisco and Maria Clara. They had laid some eggs in the past, but they were not successfully incubated and the eggs were broken. This time, zoo keepers moved the egg to an incubator, where temperature and humidity could be carefully controlled. When the little macaw hatched, it weighed only 22 grams and was fed by zoo keepers every two hours around the clock. As you can see in the photos, the little chick grew rapidly and its feathers came in.
Zoo staff named the chick Teobaldo, or Téo for short, after a popular character in Brazilian folk literature.
At three months old, Téo weighed 750g and still received liquid food twice a day. Téo also nibbles on seeds and fruit and recently learned to fly short distances.
For more than 150 years, Lear’s macaws were known only from the pet trade until a wild population was found in eastern Brazil in 1978. Today, about 1,100 Lear’s Macaws are known to live in only two locations in the wild. Though their numbers are increasing thanks to intensive conservation efforts, these parrots are still listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to their restricted range and illegal hunting for food and wildlife products.
See more photos of Téo below.