Just before Thanksgiving, three cockatiel chicks hatched in our Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit! Weighing just two grams at birth, the chicks are now close to 90 grams and fully fledged, meaning they’ve grown their colorful feathers!
To protect the offspring from potential unwanted attention from nearby birds, exhibit staff decided to bring the chicks behind-the-scenes and raise them by hand.
To mimic the behavior of cockatiel parents, staff needed to warm a nutritious mixture of formula to an exact temperature and ensure the consistency was easily digestible for the chicks.
Now that the chicks are ready to eat on their own, the staff of the exhibit have set up a food bowl for the adult cockatiels to eat beside the enclosure of the chicks. Cockatiel chicks only learn behaviors from adult cockatiels, not their siblings like other species. The current set-up allows the chicks to witness the behavior of their parents, and other birds. They watch the birds eat fruit, pellet and nuts from the bowl so they learn to feed themselves.
Once the young birds are strong enough to fly on their own, they will be released to join the other birds on exhibit in Australia: Wild Extremes.
Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes updates!