Tampa, Florida -- Spring has been a busy time for the aviary at Lowry Park Zoo with several new birds, including a penguin chick and a demoiselle crane.
An endangered African penguin chick hatched June 2 to fourth-time parents Thumbelina and Flannigan, who have been paired for several years, according to the zoo. The new chick will be cared for by its parents then a zookeeper to increase its independence and ability to swim, before joining the colony. The new chick will be easy to spot when it joins the main exhibit because it has dark gray juvenile plumage.
Also this month, a demoiselle crane chick hatched June 4, the second one in the last year. The first chick, a male, was fostered by two Florida sandhill cranes, the zoo said. This technique has been used in bird species when parent birds lack experience. The newest chick is being reared by a parent and can be seen in the Sulawesi Aviary in the Asian Gardens habitat.
There have been several others additions to the aviary department this spring: Two Nicobar pigeon chicks in March/April, who fledged in May/June); two red-legged seriema chicks on June 7; Ttwo spotted whistling duck chicks on June 18; and an endangered Tarictic hornbill chick in April, who fledged on June 10.