Baby Dove love at the Aviary

There is a new addition to our flock here at Tracy Aviary! We are happy to announce the arrival of our new white-throated ground dove chick. The baby bird hatched on January 12th and can be spotted with mom and dad inside of our rainforest exhibit. 

White-throated ground doves, like our newest chick, are pacific birds and originally come from the Yap Islands in Micronesia. We have been lucky enough to have doves at the Aviary since 2015. Our newest male dove was introduced in October, 2018. He came to us from the Bronx Zoo for potential breeding purposes. These birds are dimorphic, meaning they have different physical characteristics or colors. Female white-throated ground doves are all brown, while the males are a darker chocolate brown color with a white head.

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White-throated ground doves have been classified as near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). Plans like this help threatened and endangered animals like our doves from going extinct.

Tracy Aviary is also proud to play a very important part in the Marian Avian Conservation (MAC) program. This program helps pair male and female birds so they can breed and grow the population for their near-threatened species. It is because of this program that these doves were introduced to each other. After a lot of careful planning based on their compatibility and genetics, they were matched, mated, and are now happy parents to their little one. 

Both chick and parents are currently being watched over very closely by our team to make sure they are healthy. Our keepers provide a mix of waxworms, and juicy fruits like papaya every couple hours for the birds to enjoy. Besides being a special treat, these foods are high in protein, which is vital for the female dove during this time. Meanwhile, both parents take turns incubating and feeding the chick, while the other one eats. This process will continue even after the chick leaves the nest.

We are beginning to see the baby dove peek out of their happy little nest up in the trees, and we are looking forward to seeing the fledging around January 29th! When visiting the Aviary, be sure to come catch a glimpse and welcome our newest feathered friend, along with mom and dad, inside of their home in our Treasures of the Rainforest building. 

 

- Mackenzy Johnson