In the chaos that is a sunny Easter holiday run up the species spotlight falls a day early this week and is upon
Roul Roul Partridge
Rollulus rouloul
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Other names include Crested Wood Partridge and Green Wood Partridge.
Roul Rouls are native to South East Asia and are found throughout Borneo, Thailand and Malaysia where they favour low rainforest areas.  Due to deforestation there are concerns over their wild population and the birds are rated as near threatened.
Sexes are easily distinguished as they are differing colours.  The male is metallic green which appears almost blue and has brownish wing panel. He has a striking red crest on his head.  The female has pea-green body plumage apart from the brown wings. She has a slate-grey head with no crest.
Diet wise they are ground feeders, taking seeds, fruits and insects.  We replicate this by scatter feeding in their aviary so that the birds have to root around in the leaf litter looking for food. They nest on the ground, making a shallow scrape but hide this under a mound of leaves with a single entrance. 5-7 white eggs are laid and incubated by the female only for around 18 days.  Chicks hatch ready to go and unusually both parents feed the young, presenting food rather than the chicks foraging.
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We currently keep a breeding pair in the old Toucan House as well as a single female in the Discovery Zone, having recently lost her mate.  The breeding male arrived on a loan agreement last year and they pair raised several young.  As yet they are not showing signs of nest building at present but with the last of the youngsters recently departing, it shouldn’t be long now.
In news from the past 2 weeks….
The Hatchery in the Discovery Zone is now up and running and open to the public.  It is still a work in progress but we currently have chicks, young quail and a rescued duckling on show, as well as quail and chicken eggs incubating.
The expanded Encounter Zone area is also up and running but with a few teething problems in that the Sulcata Tortoise keep breaking out! Repairs and a quick redesign sorted out yesterday
We have new uniform
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The 11am penguin feed seems to be working well, I’m trying to keep it as seperate from the main 2.30 feed as possible with different facts
King Penguins Spike & Missy are moulting
The Pink Backed Pelicans are nest building in earnest, looking really encouraging
The Grey Peacock Pheasants have laid more eggs
Our old Southern Ground Hornbill, Metal Micky as I called him, passed away this week.  He hasn’t been in the best condition for a while now and has had health problems for years, having broken his beak several times over recent years with various metal versions being used to keep him going.
The Tawny Frogmouths look to have abandoned their nest with no sign of eggs or chicks
The Kookaburras are in the nest a lot
That is it for this week, hears hoping for a warm Easter weekend and we’ll see you on the other side

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