Crested Screamer Family Update

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The screamer family relaxes in an off-exhibit area.

For those of you who have been eagerly searching for our crested screamer family in the San Diego Zoo’s Flamingo Lagoon, I appreciate your patience. I wanted to make sure that our screamer family was doing well before updating everyone and hoped to have good news to report. And good news I have. The screamers’ second clutch consisted of only three eggs; amazingly, all three hatched! The first two chicks hatched on May 12, and the third chick hatched on May 13.

Three healthy, and hungry, screamer chicks!

Based on our unfortunate loss of the previous three chicks (see post Welcome to the World, Screamers), we had planned to move the family to our bird holding area where they could be protected from any potential dangers. The entire family was moved on May 14. The move went very well, thanks to my amazing coworkers in the Bird Department. Both screamer parents have been doing a great job caring for their chicks, as they have little to no disturbances to worry about in their current holding pen. They don’t have to worry about flamingos marching by their nest, ducks stealing their food, and, most importantly, native birds that are potential predators. The chicks are a month old now, and even though that may seem to be a decent age for a chick, they are extremely slow growers!

I don’t have an exact date as to when the family will be returning to its exhibit, as we want to make absolute sure that we have given them the best chance for success. I CAN say that it will be worth the wait, and it should be sometime soon. It will be the first time that the Flamingo Lagoon will be home to a family of 5 crested screamers, and with at least 10 flamingo kids running around as well, I’m sure there will be plenty of entertainment. I hope everyone will get along and the youngsters take after their father. Many of you are already aware that their mother is very aggressive and can make my job quite challenging☺.

Athena Wilson is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Sociable Weavers: Amazing Architects.