Endangered Hornbill chicks hatch at Bristol Zoo Gardens

It is the third year in succession the Zoo’s pair of Visayan Tarictic Hornbills have bred successfully.

This amazing footage shows life inside a bird box where three endangered Viasayan Tarictic Hornbill chicks have hatched at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

They follow a unique breeding process with the mother sealing herself inside the cavity of a concrete tree, built by bird experts at the Zoo.

She seals the entrance with mud and other natural materials leaving only a very small hole. It is a process called mudding up.

The mother then lays her eggs and incubates them while depending solely on the male bird for her food.

Once the chicks have hatched the male Hornbill has to bring enough food to feed them as well, often making up to 70 trips every day.

The father brings fruit and insects for the chicks to feed on. At Bristol their favourites are giant mealworms and Papaya.

The mother remains in the nest with the chicks until she thinks they are ready to leave.

At this point they all break out of the solid mud entrance until it crumbles away leaving them enough space to get out.

Bird experts at the Zoo have been keeping a 24 hour watch on the Hornbill mother and chicks through CCTV cameras installed in the nest.

Trevor Franks, bird team leader at Bristol Zoo said: “We are thrilled to have three more Hornbills. To raise three chicks is a tremendous achievement for the parents and for us at the Zoo.”

Visayan Tarictic Hornbills are found  in Philippines and are listed as endangered in the wild because of the destruction of lowland forest and the fragmentation of their populations.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.


For more information about visiting Bristol Zoo Gardens, visit the website at www.bristolzoo.org.uk or phone 0117 974 7300.


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