Monday, 7 June 2010

Update on young Kookaburra and Snow Goslings

Jonathan Drew sent through this photo of two of our adult Kookaburras
(Dacelo navaguinae) - clearly showing our young Kookaburra chick still has a lot of growing to do!

The Kookaburra chick pictured below is being hand-reared by the Animal Care Team (we Blogged his arrival last week). To-date, we're pleased to announce that he's thriving! This image was taken earlier today and shows his mouth open (as it is much of the time) as he cackles or shrieks for food as soon as he hears anyone passing by! His feathers are coming through, his eyes are open and he's in good voice! We're continuing to feed him chopped raw chicken and tiny mincemeat balls (the male gender hasn't actually been confirmed!)

Although Kookaburras are members of the Kingfisher family, they rarely chase or catch fish. In the wild (in Australia) Kookaburras eat insects, mice and other small rodents, lizards, the young of other birds and snakes. They have adapted well to humans and are often seen perching on posts and wires looking for their natural food. They will also fly down for scraps of meat being thrown away at picnic grounds and barbecues - people in suburban areas often feed them in their gardens too.

We now have 2 pairs of adult Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) - both bred at the Park - with broods of Goslings. We've moved both families from the open nesting area in the centre of the Park to an enclosure - where they'll be safe from predators such as Gulls, Rooks and Crows. They'll be returned to the open areas and will be free to come and go as they please once the youngsters' adult plumage has grown through. We hope that some will choose to return each year to nest and raise their Goslings with us in the future.

Image of Kookaburra chick and Snow Goslings: Jules Brittan.

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