Week 25 – Hand Rearing Update

We continue on from last weeks blog on hand rearing.

All the chicks are doing well, with the Military Macaw chick now tipping the scales at 110 grams (having hatched at 25).  As the chick is getting bigger it is getting less feeds per day but larger quantities are given at each feed.  The chick is still covered in a thin layer of fluffy down and its eye are now close to opening.

The Northern Helmeted Curassow chick continues to thrive.  Although still taking a lot of food from hand it is now starting to pick at food in the dish.  The wings are looking a lot better this week with the taping being removed over the weekend.

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The Chaco Owl is now really starting to stretch its wings.  Take off has not been achieved yet but is not far away.  Helen will be spending some time over at Cotswold Falconary Centre with the Owl for training in the coming weeks.  The Owl is not yet named so look out for an upcoming poll on FaceBook to choose a name.

The Black Necked Swan cygnets were joined by 2 more cygnets hatching last Friday.  Its very important to keep the cygnets dry for the first few days so we have had them in our hospital room under heat.  Yesterday they had their first swim, with 10 minutes in a paddling pool which will hopefully trigger preening behaviour.

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We are also now hand rearing 2 very plump Yellow Shouldered Amazon chicks.  We checked the nest on Tuesday to find 3 chicks and decision was made to leave one with the parents and the two were removed to be part of our Meet a Keeper team.  The 2 Amazons are a bit further along than the Macaw, with the eyes already starting to open and pin feathers starting to develop.  They do not require as much heat so are being kept seperate from the Macaw for now but with each other.  Both chicks took food eagerly at the first attempt.

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Another Sacred Ibis chick hatched at the start of the week and we have 2 further pairs starting to nest build.

The Humboldt penguin chick looks to be doing well, holding its head up & calling

 

In egg news King Penguin Bill laid an egg on Monday.  Weighing in at 394 grams the egg has been removed for incubation.  I have my doubts as to whether the egg will be any good as Bill (a girl despite the boys name) is paired this year with her grand-daughter Syd

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The Kookaburra egg in the incubator has started to hatch, more hand rearing for the staff 🙂

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The Red Billed Blue Pies have 5 eggs

The Emerald Doves have 2 eggs

The Roul Roul Partridge eggs in the incubator have been removed as they were infertile, but another egg has been laid this week

The Snowy Owls abandoned their nest this week with 4 eggs removed.  Unfortunately 2 had died of very early and the other 2 were chilled

 

After a couple of attempts we have managed to successfully pair the Black Swans out on the river.  When first introduced the male was incredibly territorial, chasing staff and attacking the female.  We placed the pair together in a large shed for 3 days before moving them into a smaller area for a further 2 days.  During this time they were heard calling to each other and sat alongside each other.  When we allowed them out it was the female who came out first but the male then led her to the river and the pair spent all day together, with no aggression.

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The Bartlett’s Dove chick has fledged

We have temporarily moved the Umbrella Cockatoo Claude off-show so we can rebranch his aviary.  It is a lot quicker this way without the mischievous Claude trying to bite everyone.

The African Spoonbills are starting to nest build

The Grey Treepies are also showing signs of breeding

The Marabou Stork & Pink Backed Pelicans have been clipped

 

Simon & I have been interviewed by Cage & Aviary Magazine this week for a forthcoming article on Birdland, I’ll let you know when its coming out

 

Wildlife wise the Greater Spotted Woodpecker chick has fledged.  We have a Wrens nest with chicks near the play area.  14 Swifts were seen overhead at the same time on Wednesday.  A Grass Snake has been seen in Marshmouth as have a few Devil’s Coach Horse Beetles.

There is also plenty of Cuckoo Spit in Marshmouth.  This is a white sticky froth produced by the nymphs of a sap sucking insect called a Frog Hopper

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A Spotted Orchid is starting to flower

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Thats it for this week folks

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