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Rare Fischer’s turaco chick hatched at Living Rainforest

Fisher's Turaco chick (left) standing alert next to parent

Fisher’s Turaco chick (left) standing alert next to parent

On April 7th 2016 a single Fischer’s Turaco (Tauraco fischeri) chick hatched at The Living Rainforest.

This is the first time the species has bred at our centre and a rare occurrence in Europe. Currently there are only 41 birds held in zoological collections across Europe, with wild populations possibly as low as 2,500 birds.

This species originates from Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania, where they are threatened by deforestation for timber and agriculture as well as trapping for the pet trade.

Our parent birds have been together for three years in a specially designed aviary to encourage breeding. Over this time they have shown little inclination to nest build so our keepers have been providing different nest baskets and nest sites to encourage them.

At the beginning of March, we noticed the male and female begin to share egg incubation duties for the first time. In the wild, turaco nests are loose messy piles of twigs and leaves but as you can see, our pair have not wasted any time adding to the basket nest they chose!

 

 

Normally two eggs are laid at a time and will hatch after 20-24 days. In this instance only one egg hatched from our first time parents, but this has enabled them to pay all their attention to a single chick, which improves the chances of rearing successfully.

Both parents have been diligent about feeding and protecting the chick while it was in the nest and beginning to fledge. The chick is now gaining its adult plumage and will soon be identical to its parents in appearance.

As part of our efforts to contribute to the European Studbook for this rare species, feather samples will be taken and sent for DNA testing to determine the gender of the chick.

Visitors can see the chick and parents at the Living Rainforest.

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May
6

This entry was posted on Friday, May 6th, 2016 at 11:20 am and is filed under News.

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