Tricky name, tricky job
Published: Jul 12, 2018Hand rearing a chick requires a lot of dedication...
Our dedicated bird keepers are hand rearing the latest hatchling at Paignton Zoo, an omei shan liocichla (liochcla omeiensis). The name doesn’t trip off the tongue – but try “Leo-sic-la”.
Also known as the grey-faced liocichla, this small bird’s conservation status is Vulnerable. Endemic to the mountain ranges of southern Sichuan, China, the species is threatened by habitat loss.
It’s the first time that Paignton Zoo has bred this species - and it takes a lot of dedication and perseverance. Senior Keeper of Birds, Tom Tooley, explains: “We like to give the parents the chance to raise their young, but we were concerned about the chick’s health so decided to hand rear ourselves.”
Bird keepers have been hand feeding the chick at regular intervals from 8:00am until 9:00pm every day on a diet of papaya and very small pieces of meat.
While the parent birds are currently off show, Zoo guests can see the small chick at our Avian Breeding Centre until it is ready to fledge in a couple of weeks.