Rare Macaw Chicks Delights Conservationists

Two rare hyacinth macaw hatchlings spring to life from their eggs for the first time in a Swiss zoo.

A midnight blue breeding pair of hyacinth macaws can be seen singing before their hatchlings are born almost entirely naked and helpless in new footage obtained from the Zurich Zoo.

Zoo Zurich, Nicole Schnyder, Pitsch Schmid, Jennifer Schwere/Newsflash

The hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) is native to eastern and central South America and is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the Red List for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN).

The breeding pair’s offspring hatched at the zoo’s Ornis Species Conservation Center, a giant birdhouse opened at the beginning of the year in the city of Zurich in north-central Switzerland.

The zoo houses 30 breeding pairs of the strikingly blue parrots, which is the largest captive population of hyacinth macaws in the world.

The centre takes this responsibility very seriously and its aim is to protect the species while promoting the growth of a reserve population in Europe, according to a statement Newsflash obtained from The Zurich Zoo on Thursday, 8th September.

The zoo added: “In order not to disturb the parrots when breeding and rearing the young birds, only specially trained animal keepers who are familiar with the birds have access to (them).”

The hyacinth hatchlings are the most recent species that have been bred at the conservation centre and represent the first completed project of The Zurich Zoo’s Development Plan for 2050.

This should allow the zoo to broaden its conservation efforts and provide it with the extra support needed to breed other endangered species, according to the statement.

Image shows a bird pair in the Ornis species protection center, undated.
(Zoo Zurich, Jennifer Schwere/Newsflash)

The birth of the new hyacinth macaws is also considered a milestone for the European Endangered Species Program (EEP) while the zoo has announced plans to open a Pantanal aviary to house the young birds in the future.

It added: “While breeding takes place in the background due to its strict regulation, the young birds will be visible and tangible for all zoo guests in the future.

“Then when they do their rounds generously in the Pantanal aviary, the new habitat planned as part of the Development Plan 2050, they will find the right partner for continued breeding.”

Ornis, meaning birdlife or bird, is derived from the ancient Greek word used to describe the winged creatures.

The centre is made up of three units with the perfect climatic conditions for breeding while access to the enclosure is regulated and staff are required to wear special clothing when visiting the birds.

This is due to the fact that hyacinth macaws have strong reactions to change during the breeding season and associate the clothes with their zookeepers.

The statement adds: “From 7am to 9am, they are cleaned and fed, between 9am and 1pm, the animals are left in peace and undisturbed.

“In the afternoon there is more food.

“The more structured the daily routine, the more predictable it is for the birds.

“This gives them security and is a prerequisite for successful breeding.”

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Alice Amelia ThomasSub-Editor: Joe Golder, Agency: Newsflash

The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.


We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Signup to our Newsletter