Visitors to Taronga Zoo’s rainforest aviary may be able to see a juvenile eclectus parrot which is now flying around in the exhibit. The female chick hatched in mid-August and is now fully fledged meaning she is adventuring in the aviary.
The chick is coloured red as she is a female. Males of this species are bright green. They are odd as normally the male of the species displays the bolder colours. When they were first discovered people were unaware they were the same species instead thinking they were different.
The down of the females is much darker meaning their gender can be checked as soon as the pin feathers start to grow. This is much easier than with other bird species where their DNA must be checked to discover what species they are. Zoo staff could tell this chick was female when it was just 3 weeks old.
In this species females develop faster and are off out of the nest at an earlier age. You can normally find this chick hanging out at the top of the aviary.
Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo/ Emily Schmelitschek