Birthday boy Herbert is one year old this August
Herbert the adorable hand-reared Palm Cockatoo will celebrate his first birthday on Thursday 9th August 2018. He will be getting some special treats, but also just what he wanted – a new little brother or sister! Yes, a new Palm Cockatoo chick hatched on 8th July.
Many may remember Herbert from last year when keepers Leanne Gilbert and Sarah-Jayne Cooke took on the responsibility of raising him.
Keeper Leanne explains “Herbert’s parents had produced an egg several times in the past few years, but sadly they always broke them before they had a chance to hatch. So last year when they laid and the keepers could see the pair were having some squabbles and likely to crush the shell, they decided to remove the egg to an incubator. Herbert hatched, and has been going from strength to strength ever since. We would ideally like the parents to hatch and rear a chick, but not long ago another egg was sadly broken. So once again in early July we decided to step in again help ensure the egg would hatch and the chick survive.”
Leanne continues “It has been a delight to hand-rear Herbert along with Sarah-Jayne. He is such a great character. I have been introducing him to one of the outside aviaries recently so he can slowly get used to it, and he is doing well.”
Photos of Herbert as a young chick and when comedian Bill Bailey a great environmentalist and parrot lover, popped in to see staff and Herbert.
The Keepers plan to present Herbert with a specially made parrot-friendly birthday cake treat for him to enjoy! Photographs showing Herbert’s progress throughout the last year will be on display in the Otter Pool Café.
This species of cockatoo is slow to reproduce as just one egg is laid at a time and the chick is in the nest for at least 80 days and then stays with its parents for about a year. Although rarely seen in aviaries, in the wild they have a large range and are thought to be quite common in remote areas of New Guinea, although rare around settlements. The unusual patch of bare skin on their cheeks blushes bright red when they call to a mate or defend their territory which makes them very expressive.
The World Parrot Trust charity based at Paradise Park, chose the Palm Cockatoo as its emblem when it was established in 1989. The Trust supported research by Steve Murphy to learn in detail about feeding and breeding habits of wild birds, with the aim of better management for their native habitat.
For more information on Palm Cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus) please click here
Herbert the adorable hand-reared Palm Cockatoo December 2017
Bill Bailey, meets staff and Herbert at Paradise Park February 2018