By Simon Jones
Published Apr 22, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 22, 2015 at 8:11 am)
The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo is celebrating the arrival of two new feathered additions to the animal population.
Two fluffy tawny frogmouths have successfully hatched and been hand-reared by staff who worked around the clock to feed and care for the birds.
For more than four weeks, experts in Bermuda have been in regular contact with specialists in Columbia, South Carolina, and in Orlando and Seattle to ensure the survival of the chicks.
It is the first time that these rare birds, which are native to Australia, have been successfully bred in Bermuda.
“It’s a huge moment for us, especially from the hand-rearing standpoint,” said Roma Hayward, animal care and quarantine officer.
“It has involved a great deal of collaboration with other establishments, including Sea World in Florida, the Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina, and the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
“Being part of the Aquarium and Zoo Association allows us to work with these other establishments and maximise the chances of successfully hand-rearing these birds.
“We also had staff coming in to watch and feed the chicks around the clock, especially in the early days when they had to be fed every two hours.”
Staff at the zoo removed the first chick from the nest after it had hatched on March 21, as well as a second egg.
The second egg hatched on March 28 and the two little tawny frogmouths have been cared for in an incubator at the zoo.
“What makes this even more exceptional is the father Kermit’s genetics and his age, too,” said Patrick Talbot, the zoo’s curator.