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Diary of a Palm Cockatoo (part 3)

Thursday, December 16, 2010 2:26pm
palm cockatoo 42 Days.jpg palm cockatoo 48 Days.jpg

Hello All

It's time for another entry in the Palm Cocky Diary.

Our little chick isn't so small any more. In the last two weeks the chick has more than doubled in weight and has dramatically improved the ratio of skin to feathers. The body is now around 3/4 grown and the weight gain is starting to slow down.

The feather growth however has accelerated with pins emerging almost everywhere and feathers maturing and emerging from the paper like sheath that protects them whilst they are growing. Motor skills are also developing as the chick starts to strengthen muscles and try out postures that it will use as an adult.

There are now furious bouts of wing flapping accompanied by crouching low in anticipation of that first spring into the air to begin flying. The chick is also capable of standing completely upright and supporting its weight on it feet, and taking a few wobbly steps.

It won't be long before there is sufficient feather coverage to provide adequate insulation to allow the chick to be left in a warm room without needing additional heat.

With all of this physical development and improved coordination the chicks' mind is also developing. This is displayed by an increased interest and willingness to interact with its environment. It is starting to chew on things, preen those feathers and, believe it or not, stamp its foot if I am a bit slow to deliver the food. There has also been a lot of head shaking.

As the chick moves the feathers on its cheeks in response to stimuli, the feather sheaths have been sticking into the side of the beak and the very sensitive skin there that illicit the feed response. Every time the chick erects these feathers it shakes its head. 

Trena
Bird Keeper, Adelaide Zoo


Comments

It's so cute. From those two measurements it looks the legs have heaps.
Posted By: Anthony on Thursday, December 16, 2010 3:14pm
Wow, it is great to see such an intimate stage, thanks :) Just wondering if you can post a photo of what the parents look like as it is hard to imagine at the moment :) Keep up the good work!
Posted By: Melissa on Thursday, December 16, 2010 3:43pm
Very good to hear news of a baby palm cockatoo, with so few in captivity in Australia it is good to see one more being added to the population. Keep up the good work!
Posted By: Ashton on Friday, December 17, 2010 9:19am
Haha :) too cute!! How fantastic it must be to go to work everyday at the Adelaide Zoo....my dream job for sure.
Posted By: kasia on Thursday, December 30, 2010 4:26pm

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