San Antonio Zoo Celebrate

Breeding of Rare Bird

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: July 18, 2020 5:30 pm

micronesian kingfisher chick san antonio

Photo Credit: San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo has bred a bird which is extinct in the wild, the Micronesian kingfisher. Hatched on July 4th this is the first time that a Micronesian kingfisher chick has hatched at San Antonio Zoo in 5 years.

“I am so very proud of our Animal Care Specialists for all their hard work, dedication, and passion they bring to zoo daily,” said Tim Morrow, President & CEO, San Antonio Zoological Society. “This significant hatching is a result of the excellent care the animals receive and are key to continuing our mission of securing a future for wildlife.”

micronesian kingfisher chick san antonio

Photo Credit: San Antonio Zoo

This chick is the result of a new pairing. The mother and father met for the first time in March and it was love at first sight with courtship seen within the first month leading to this egg being laid in June.

Micronesian kingfishers may have multiple clutches each season with 1-3 eggs per clutch. The successful breeding of this species in captivity is vital as they are extinct in the wild.

micronesian kingfisher chick san antonio

Photo Credit: San Antonio Zoo

In the wild they are only found in Guam. In the 1950s a brown tree snake was a stowaway on a plane that landed on the island and formed a population there. With no native snakes the birds there did not view them as a threat and by the 1980s 6 of the 8 endemic birds were extinct.

In an effort to save the Micronesian kingfisher from the same fate a group of 30 birds were brought to America and placed in AZA accredited zoos. Here they are part of a coordinated program which has grown the population to 140 as a safeguard until their home is safe and ready for them to return to.

While called a kingfisher their diet is mostly comprised of lizards and insects.

Learn more about the San Antonio Zoo on their website – San Antonio Zoo

micronesian kingfisher chick san antonio

Photo Credit: San Antonio Zoo

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