Coronation Chicks

Keepers are celebrating the coronation weekend early as three baby blacksmith plovers have hatched. This is the first time that these animals have been successfully bred at the zoo.

In keeping with the upcoming coronation celebrations, we’ve aptly named the chicksCharles,
Charlie and Chaz.

The birth of the rare chicks comes just two months after a male Blacksmith Plover made an ‘epic’ 400
mile journey from the Cotswolds. He was partnered with the zoo’sresident female. The pairing was initially delayed by UK wide restrictions imposed because of Avian Influenza.

Blacksmith plovers are endemic to Kenya and Tanzania. Despite their small size, plovers have been known to attack elephants who have been feeding on trees located near to their nests.

Mike said “We’d been trying to locate a suitable breeding male to join our existing female. This had proved difficult following the recent Avian influenza outbreak and huge restrictions on moving birds during the winter months.”

“We can’t believe how well the male settled in and were shocked to discover that the female had started demonstrating nest making behaviour within days of being introduced to the male. Seeing Charles, Charlie and Chaz emerging from the bushes in their enclosure for the first time and eating their first mealworm was mesmerizing and a real boost for all of our staff.’’