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Near Extinct Birds Hatch at Chester Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: November 5, 2021 12:59 pm

Red-Billed Curassow Hatching Chester Zoo

A pair of red-billed curassow chicks have hatched at Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

A pair of red-billed curassow have hatched at Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom as part of efforts to prevent their extinction. Less than 200 of these birds remain in the wild leaving them at the edge of extinction.

The two precious chicks were incubated by the zoo's bird team for 30 days to ensure they were successfully hatched.

Red-Billed Curassow Hatching Chester Zoo

A pair of red-billed curassow chicks have hatched at Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

Andrew Owen, Curator of Birds at the zoo, said:


“This is such a significant moment for us, and for the species. When we saw that the parents had produced eggs we were overjoyed, but we quickly noticed that the female wasn’t sitting on them and, with the birds being so rare, we just couldn’t take any chances. We stepped in and decided to artificially incubate them ourselves."

"Once hatched, we carefully returned the chicks to the parent birds for rearing and they were quickly welcomed back into the family. It’s been great to use our avicultural experience to hatch the eggs and wonderful to see the parent birds rear their chicks naturally – a technique which may help in the conservation of this species in the future, and an incredible achievement the whole team who we’re very proud of."


“On hatching, the plum-sized chicks weigh just 100g, but they’ll grow to be 3.5kg, around the same size as a turkey, after just one year. That’s why in their native Brazil they’ve been hunted for meat by local people and feral dogs. They, like many other bird species, are declining due to habitat loss, forest fragmentation and deforestation," finished Owen.

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Chester Zoo is at present the only zoo in the UK which care for this species. Conservationists are excited for these two chicks to join the global-conservation-breeding-programme for this species.

“These magnificent birds are on the verge of becoming extinct in the wild, with estimates of less than 200 left in the wild. For that reason, these two chicks are very important additions to the global population and the conservation efforts to help save this unique species from extinction,” added Owen.

Red-billed curassows are endemic to the Atlantic forest in Brazil. The chicks are born with speckled brown feathers which help to camouflage them on the forest floor.

Along with natural threats such as jaguars, ocelots and eagles these birds are now facing threats from humans such as deforestation and hunting.

Learn more about Birds here – Bird Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about Chester Zoo on their website – Chester Zoo

Red-Billed Curassow Hatching Chester Zoo

A pair of red-billed curassow chicks have hatched at Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom

Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

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