Denver Zoo hatches kea chick

March 31, 2017 • 1:17 pm

A Colorado news station announced the successful hatching of a single kea chick (Nestor notabilis), although four eggs were produced. (I wrote about my own sighting of a kea in the “wild” here. )

You can see the report by clicking on the screenshot below, which takes you to a video and to this information (I like the headline):

This [the station doesn’t don’t say what; perhaps artificial insemination] resulted in four eggs, and while zookeepers tried to let the proud parents rear the eggs themselves, they ended up breaking two of them – forcing the zoo to step in and incubate them artificially.

Of those two, only one chick hatched – and that chick is Scarlet. She’ll get to meet her parents when she gets a little bit older, but right now, she’s being hand-raised by zookeepers.

Kea are found mostly in the mountains of the south island of New Zealand. Adults can grow 19 inches long and weigh about two pounds.

Here’s Scarlett. She needs a mate!

Here’s Scarlet being fed (all photos Courtesy Denver Zoo). She’s one of only 38 kea chicks reared in captivity:

And here’s the sister species of the kea: the New Zealand kākā (Nestor meridionalis), which I saw yesterday, and very close up (on our lunch table, and everybody else’s). More pictures tomorrow!

10 thoughts on “Denver Zoo hatches kea chick

  1. Keas are listed as Vulnerable in Wikipedia – I wonder if their egg-breaking is related to that, or their location.

  2. The name kaka suits it’s appearance, somehow. Handsome with a touch of strange. I wonder if it’s one of those bird species that say their name.

  3. How is it going to learn to eat on its own? Of course it needs nutrition but wondering how they yeah it to hunt and peck?

  4. Kakas really like picnic lunches. They will eat yours for you. These bold birds will try to eat it right out of your mouth.

  5. I would think that unless they habituate it to other kea it will think it is human. That is why a lot of human reared chicks or animals are reared without obvious human contact – people dress up to appear like a panda or a parent bird… to avoid imprinting.

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