This week saw more new arrivals so I’m going to take the chance to blog about one of them
The Bali Myna is one of our rarest inhabitants, having been down to less than 20 wild birds on a couple of occasions. Also known as the Bali Starling and Rothschild’s Mynah, Bali’s are endemic to the island with which they share their name. Their main habitat is areas of open woodland. They will avoid forested areas.
The Bali is critically endangered and as such is managed under an EEP (European Endangered species Program). They are struggling due to habitat loss, which has meant that have to compete for nest sites with other species. The biggest problem however is that many wild birds have been captured for the pet trade. It is now an inprisonable offence to be in possession of a Bali. Reintroduction programmes have had some success but many of these birds have ended up in Indonesian Pet Shops. With over 700 birds held in Zoos and bird parks, efforts are being made to re-introduce again.
Bali’s are a stocky member of the starling/myna family, measuring around 25cm in length. They are predominantly white save for black primary feathers and also black on the tip of the tail. They have a bare patch of skin around the eye which is blue. A long crown of feathers make them look heavy headed. Males have slightly longer crests which is the only real way to tell the difference.
The diet is wide and varied. They take a range of live food including insects, worms and small reptiles. Seeds and fruit are also taken, as are berries.
Nesting occurs in holes in trees, usually old woodpecker nest sites. In captivity nest boxes are readily accepted. Both adults build the cup shaped nest within the hollow, with the male doing the greater part of the work and the hen doing the fine lining!
Clutches of between 1 to 5 eggs are possible and the eggs are pale blue. The female does the bulk of the incubation which lasts for 12-14 days. She will then do the majority of brooding the chicks whilst both adults will feed the young. The chicks will fledge at between 3 to 4 weeks of age and will be fully independent at around 6-7 weeks old.
This week we brought in a young female from Cotswold Wildlife Park, who will join with our male in the New Year. She hatched in May of this year and is one of 9 chicks from the Cotswold pair this year! The male has been with us for a couple of years having arrived from Chester. As always the new bird will undergo a period of quarantine before being introduced to the male
In other news…
3 more new arrivals came in this week from Vale Wildlife Rescue Centre. A Francolin Partridge, Gouldian Finch and Diamond Dove had all been brought to them but as they are all non-native, they have joined our collection.
The Emus produced 2 eggs this week, as far as I know a first for Birdland. Both eggs have been removed as it is the wrong time of year to be laying. We will wait another few days to see if any more eggs arrive before placing in the incubator. The eggs weighed 538 & 626 grams respectively.
The Pelicans were given their 8 weekly clip, as was Diamond the Blue & Gold Macaw
Wildlife wise highlights this week has been a regular Nuthatch in the Nature Area, which I personally haven’t seen on site for a couple of years now. Some loud squealing which sounded like a squirrel being murdered behind the staff room turned out to be a Jay, feeding on berries. There has been a lot of movement over head with large groups of Canada Geese, Redwing & Fieldfare passing over. A queen Wasp was unusually late
That’s it for this week, thanks for reading