This weeks spotlight falls on one of our smallest inhabitants
Blue Winged Minla
Also known as the Blue Winged Siva, they are native to the Indian sub continent and South East Asia where they inhabit areas of tropical forest. They are part of the babbler family, the same group of birds as the Laughing Thrushes. They are actually believed not to be closely related to the other Minla species at allTheir wild population is unknown but they are believed to be fairly common.
The diet is made up mainly of insects although small berries and seeds may also be taken. They can be seen foraging in small flocks, containing their own species and other similar birds. Here at Birdland we feed an insectivorous mix called bogena, as well as meal worms and finely chopped fruit.
They are roughly 14-15cm in length and have blue on the wing as well as on the crown. Females can be distinguished from males as they have less blue on the head
A small cup nest of fine plant material is built by both birds, usually quite high up. Between 2 to 5 eggs are laid which have a blueish tint to them. Incubation is around the 12-14 day mark and the birds will regularly produce 2 clutches a year
At present we house a single male in what was the old Toucan House. Finding a mate is proving very difficult as they are very uncommon in captivity (I know of only 2 other collections keeping them in Europe) Hopefully there are some in private hands
In park news this week
One out of eight Fulvous Tree Duck eggs proved to be fertile and hatched yesterday. The duckling will be kept off show for now as we ensure it is strong and healthy after a prolonged hatch of 6 days
The 2 new Humboldts were tagged and moved into the main enclosure with no problems. As I don’t know much about the Czech Republic from where they were born I have named them after a famous Czech footballer. Karel (the female) & Poborsky (the male)
The Java Sparrow group in the finch block have chicks
Eggs this week have been from the Stanley Crane (removed as no male), the Ross’ Goose (again no male present), the White Naped Crane (2), Snowy Owls (2) & the Kookaburras (3)
The Rheas continue to lay which we will control as we don’t want to breed too many. We do this be replacing new eggs with fake eggs
The male Temmincks Tragopan has been moved off-show as he is hassling the Green Imperial Pigeon
Wildlife wise the Greater Spotted Woodpecker chicks have fledged, with 3 seen. The Green Woodpecker is also present. At least 2 of the Tawny Owl fledglings were seen over the weekend as well. A few Common Blue Damselflies are starting to get around
Thanks for reading