Bird breeding season at the zoo is in full swing, with two cygnets, one turaco chick and one stilt chick hatching recently.

Last week our pair of black-necked swans hatched two fluffy cygnets. This is not the pairs first time breeding as in the past few years they have reared several cygnets, who have now moved on to other collections. Swans will usually lay two clutches of 4-6 eggs during the year, after an incubation period of around 46 days the eggs will hatch.

Once the cygnets have hatched, both mum and dad will share parenting duties of their young, even carrying them on their back whilst they learn how to swim. This will tend to stop at around 2 weeks old as they get stronger and are able to sustain longer periods of physical activity. They will usually stay with their parents until they are at least 5 months old.

You can spot the zoo’s swan family over in the lake near the Ring-tailed Lemur Island.

Back in February the zoo announced the arrival of two white-cheeked turacos, who arrived from Paradise Park.They have wasted no time at all and have already hatched their first chick. Turaco chicks look nothing like their adult form and are born with all black feathers. They will not develop their bright green plumage and white cheeks until they are older.

The turaco chick has now fledged and can be found over in the African Wetland Aviary near the Savannah along with its parents.

Finally a black necked stilt chick has hatched in the Birds of Brazil Aviary near the entrance to the zoo. As with a lot of bird species both parents will incubate and care for the young. Once hatched they are able to leave the nest within 1-2 hours. You can spot the chick alongside mum and dad in the aviary. Chicks have light brown feathers with dark flecks, whereas the parents have white chest and face feathers and black neck and back feathers.

Make sure you keep an eye out for more animal updates in the coming weeks!

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