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Baby bird boom

Posted by: Mark Myers, Curator of Birds

It’s baby bird season at Woodland Park Zoo! Over the past few weeks, we’ve had several successful hatchings from birds across the zoo—from temperate waterfowl to tropical tanagers.

Here’s a round-up of some of the significant hatchings:

Cinnamon teal and falcated ducklings. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

The quiet, tucked away Temperate Wetlands exhibit is home to a number of newly hatched ducks and geese. Since July, we have successfully hatched falcated ducks, red-breasted geese, redhead, cinnamon teal, and lesser scaups (North American diving ducks).

Candling a red-breasted goose egg. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

To help prepare for all of these hatchings, our zookeepers use a process called candling in which they hold an egg up to a high powered, focused light source for a few seconds to see if an egg is fertile or to check the health of a developing embryo.  We were thrilled to candle and find fertile red-breasted geese eggs, as seen in the photo above. It’s been many years since we have had red-breasted geese hatchlings at the zoo, and we’re happy to say that this year, we hatched five goslings and have just introduced them out on exhibit in the Temperate Wetlands!

Five red-breasted goslings with parents. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

The hatchlings are distinguishable from the adults not only by their smaller size but also by the downy feathers that cover them in their early weeks. 

Lesser scaup ducklings. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Behind the scenes at the zoo, our keepers have one tawny frogmouth chick being cared for by its parents, and a younger frogmouth being hand-reared by staff.

Tawny frogmouth chick. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Down at the tropical end of the zoo, our blue-grey, silver-beaked and turquoise tanagers have all successfully hatched chicks this season, and with patience and careful observations, you may spot the parents tending to their fledged chicks in several exhibits throughout our Tropical Rain Forest building.

Keep your eye out for nests and chicks on your next visit to the zoo!


Keeper Celine said…
Don't forget to check out our ten newest Humboldt penguin fledglings now all on exhibit!! This makes twenty-four of these endangered penguins that have hatched since opening the exhibit in 2009.