As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Rare "Brillo pad" birds set to scrub up well at Chester Zoo (GALLERY)

White-naped pheasant pigeons being hand-reared by the zoo's keepers

Rare white-naped pheasant pigeon Kola is one of two to have hatched at Chester Zoo

Is it a bird? Is it a Brillo pad? It's one of Chester Zoo's latest arrivals, a rare Asian bird... that looks a bit like a Brillo pad.

Three-week old Kola is one of two white-naped pheasant pigeons to have recently hatched at the zoo, where they are receiving round-the-clock care in their precious early days.

After being rejected by their parents, the two chicks are being hand-reared by Chester Zoo keepers, who have developed a special diet to help the pigeons go from strength to strength.

And ironically, given their startling resemblance, the keepers are actually using scouring pads to help look after their new charges.

Chester Zoo bird keeper Gareth Evans said: “Hand-feeding them is a tricky business. The scouring pad gives them something to grip onto to make sure they don’t slip and slide around, helping their feet and legs to develop properly.

"Normally they’d be on a nest on the ground made up of lots of little sticks and twigs, so a scouring pad acts to create the grip they’d get from the nest."

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