Dove with pink head hatched at Newquay Zoo
Wednesday 14th March, 2018
Keepers at Newquay Zoo are celebrating – over a dove with a pink head. This the first hand reared pink-headed fruit-dove to fledge at the Cornish animal charity.
Hatched on Tuesday 30th January, the youngster is adjusting well to life outside of the shell – though at this stage it doesn’t actually have a pink head.
Only one other wildlife park in the country keeps the species. The latest addition to the bird collection hatched after an incubation period of 20 days; after spending time in an incubator, cared for by keepers, the dove has now fledged and will be introduced to the Gems of the Jungle exhibit in the next few months.
The hatchling has been raised on a diet of special formula, with round-the-clock care from the zoo’s keeping team. Once the fledgling is able to feed itself unassisted it will be transferred into the walk-through aviary with the 30 other species housed there.
In the wild, this species is found at high altitudes on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Bali and Java. These colourful doves live within restricted forest areas, building flimsy nests in trees 1000-2200m above sea level. Pink-headed fruit-doves are shy and inconspicuous birds, seen singularly or in pairs, although flocks may congregate at favoured fruit trees.
Senior bird keeper, Gary Ward, commented: ‘We are really excited to have bred this species - this is the first hand-reared chick of this species we have fledged here and we’re really pleased with its progress. This hatchling has been putting on several grams a day, which is really positive, and although the chick doesn’t currently have a pink head, this will come through after its first shed of feathers.’
Gems of the Jungle has been created to highlight the issues around the illegal trade of Asian songbirds.