Having completed their annual moult, our Madarin drake (Aix galericulata) drake and Golden pheasant cock (Chrysolophus pictus) are looking beautiful in their bright new plumage. They’ve also been making a bit of a racket in Pheasant Crescent and you may have heard some rather unusual sounds and seen some unusual behaviour in their aviary! These calls are part of the territorial defense and courtship of the two species and are fantastically dramatic, from the deep almost bubbling ‘song’ of the mandarin to the frenzied elaborate dance of the male golden pheasant complete with specialized feathers that move across his face. See more photos and videos on the next page!
Our ducks and geese are back on their pond with a brand new house and new enrichment platforms! The birds have been bunking in with the chickens and turkeys as their new enclosure was built, but are now settling into their new and improved pond near Muddy Boots nursery. This has been a big project and one that was only made possible from the generous donations and help of hardworking volunteers, including volunteers from Deutsche Bank, Jones Lang Lasalle, Barclays and Mangroup! Thank you all very much for your help! Continue reading
We’re proud to announce another new arrival! Remember our Mandarin duck hatching eggs? Although the eggs are due to hatch tomorrow, we’ve had an early arrival! This little one was developing a bit faster than its siblings and we heard this little guy (or girl!) cheeping in its egg late Friday night. That, taken together with a look at its beak in the egg’s air cell meant that it had internally pipped and was getting close to hatching. However, there was no further activity until this afternoon when it burst out of its egg! The tiny duckling is still drying off, so looks a bit bedraggled, but is fluffing up nicely. More adorable photos on the next page. Continue reading