It’s only the second time any avocet chicks have hatched at the Bourton-on-the-Water wildlife attraction in the last 16 years; and the first time that more than one chick has been born. Keepers believe the three successful hatchings may be a first for the park, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.
Alistair Keen said: “To date it has been an extremely successful year for our captive breeding programmes. “To have three healthy pied avocet chicks hatch out is fantastic news and they are proving particularly popular with visitors as, despite their small size, they are surprisingly confident and adventurous. “As well as the avocets we have also just had three Edwards’ pheasant chicks born. This particular species comes from the rainforests of Vietnam and is Critically Endangered. It is estimated there may only be around 250 birds remaining in the wild,” he added.
It is thought the pied avocet became extinct as a breeding species in Great Britain by 1840. Its successful re-colonisation at Minsmere, Suffolk, in 1947 led to it being adopted as the emblem for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
The avocets subsequent increase in numbers represents one of the most successful conservation and protection projects in the UK. With its combination of woodland, riverside and gardens, Birdland features more than 500 birds, ranging from birds of prey and parrots to cassowaries and cranes in a mix of free-flying and aviary displays.
Avian life of Africa
A new series of themed displays celebrating the avian life of Africa has been unveiled at Birdland as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations. The African area features a total of nine aviaries; six of which have been newly constructed to showcase the huge variety of birds found on the continent. Among the new species on display are a flock of black-cheeked lovebirds and a colony of village weavers; famous for their extraordinary nest-building prowess.Other birds include touracos, starlings, guinea fowl and exotic ducks and the feature also incorporates African hornbills.
The feature is part of a series of events and activities to mark the 60th anniversary of Birdland, which first opened to the public back in 1957.
Birdland Park and Gardens, Rissington Rd, Bourton-on-the-Water, Glos, GL54 2BN. Open Daily From 10am (Except Christmas Day). Tel: 01451 820480 or visit www.birdland.co.uk for more information.