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An Update on our Feathered Friends

June 3, 2024

Leaves

Within the next few weeks our male red bishop weaver birds will have their breeding plumage completely grown in and be ready to begin their summer courtship displays. Their display flights consist of them calling to attract a female as they fly around with their feathers puffed out and their wings pulled partly in. Their vibrant orange-red and black coloration makes them stand out against the background. The males will weave globular nests with a side opening out of plant material followed by a receptive female lining the nest to prepare it for young birds. They often nest about 4-7 feet off the ground in the fine branches of the Operculicarya decaryi.

male red bishop weaver

I am happy to announce that we have added more of the ringed teal ducks in the Costa Rica biome for a new total of five. They were originally introduced in 2010 and have done well in the room. They build nests in cavities in logs or rock and incubate 7-12 eggs.

ringed teal ducks

Our new ones were let go under the bridge where they can acclimate to their new home and will explore the room at their own pace. The ducks in this room become quite tame over time and will often be seen walking the paths while guests are in the room. They were quite happy to be out in the room after their mandatory 30-day quarantine. This quarantine is something all new birds are required to go through as well as being tested for parasites.

blue-billed teal ducks

We have also just released 2 male blue-billed teal ducks into the Madagascar oasis. These native Madagascar ducks are somewhat smaller than the ringed teals and have a brown crown with a paler neck and breast along with green patches on its sides. They are a native Madagascar species and are found throughout much of Africa. Senior Glasshouse Horticulturist Sadie Smith and I added some plant material to make the ducks comfortable and feel at home. You can see them from the ellipse through the oasis window.

Matt Edwards

Matt Edwards

Animal Care Specialist

Matt Edwards, Animal Care Specialist, has been providing for our tropical animals and arthropods since the biomes opened in 2003. As a youth Matt first expressed his fascination for animals tending to chickens, goats and dairy cattle as a farm hand. He then added professional experience by earning an Associate of Arts and Sciences from Lakeland CC. When not caring for chameleons and leaf-cutter ants, Matt enjoys relaxing with his pets Henry the Pomeranian and Petunia the Tortoise.

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