November 16, 2009
The stork has delivered some awfully cute new packages to the National Zoo.
For the first time ever, four elegant crested tinamou chicks were born at the National Zoo in late October. For just the second time ever, a pygmy falcon chick hatched.
The elegant crested tinamou chicks’ mother arrived at the Zoo just five months ago to join the chicks’ father. In this species, the female lays the olive green eggs, but the male is left to protect and care for them. Zoo staff report the male tinamou has done a fine fathering job so far. The birds are native to Chile and Argentina and prefer dry savannahs and open woodlands. While hunting them for food and sport is popular, their population remains stable in the wild.
The second pygmy falcon to be hatched at the National Zoo arrived on October 20. The little guy is still pretty dependent—pygmy falcons are born weighing only 5 grams and are unable to see or regulate their own temperature. But this chick is growing fast; Zoo staff estimate that it’ll be flying in a couple of days. To keep the chick strong, it is being fed a varied diet of anoles, pinky mice, crickets, fuzzy mice, hairless mice, meal worms and natural balance meat cubes and recieves daily supplemental feedings. This can be difficult because the chick’s parents become very aggressive during the feedings.
All the new arrivals are on display at the zoo, but the pygmy falcon spends most of its time in the nest, so visitors have to be stealthy to catch a peek.
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