Chicks and Chirps: Edward's Pheasants at Tracy Aviary
Posted By Salt Lake County ZAP
May 11, 2017
The weather is warming up, bulbs are blooming, and for Tracy Aviary, it means its hatching season. In March, Tracy Aviary welcomed the hatching of five Edwards’s Pheasant chicks! Edwards’s Pheasants are found in only three provinces in central Vietnam and are thought to be extinct in the wild, which makes this hatching all the more exciting! Tracy Aviary participates in a Species Survival Plan to breed this beautiful bird, increase their numbers in captivity, and ensure they have a future. The chicks are currently being raised by their mom and dad in the lush Treasures of the Rainforest exhibit and getting accustomed to finding food on their own, flying, and exploring their habitat. Edwards’s Pheasants are very secretive and prefer to spend their time hiding under dense foliage while foraging on the ground for food. The keepers are providing mealworms, crickets, and specially formulated pheasant pellets for the family to eat. Sometimes it is difficult to see the chicks, as mom can be very protective, but if you listen closely you can hear the family chirping to each other as they explore their habitat.
The chicks should reach their adult weight by the time they are 6 months old. Males weigh about 900 grams where females weigh about 600 grams. We will be able to tell if they are male or female by the time they are 3 months old based on their feather coloration. Exposing them to important husbandry tools like scales will help us monitor their growth and overall health throughout their life without being too invasive in their daily behaviors. Waxworms, which we also refer to as “bird candy”, are a great way to reward these brave little birds for their curiosity in stepping up on the scale! These precious little chicks are vital to the future of their species, so to see them growing so well is very exciting.
Visitors will have fun searching for these little chicks inside Treasures of the Rainforest and will be thrilled when they catch sight of them! As an open air exhibit, Treasures of the Rainforest is a unique experience where guests get to see birds free-flying around them.
Guests should plan a visit to Tracy Aviary soon, for these chicks won’t be chicks for long! Along with exploring Treasures of the Rainforest, guests will be able to participate in fun summer programming. Our busy summer schedule includes something for everyone - daily bird shows, nature play for the kids, daily feeding opportunities, nose-to-beak encounters, and concerts the second Sunday of the month (June-September). Tracy Aviary is open Monday-Sunday, 9am-5pm, with later hours on Monday nights (open till 8pm June-August). For more information visit www.tracyaviary.org.
Julie Roehner is the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Tracy Aviary. New to the Aviary, she is enjoying learning about all of the species on grounds from the rest of Tracy Aviary staff.