Partridge pair hatch at DZG!

A couple of colourful roul roul partridge chicks have hatched at Dudley Zoo.

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The pair, pictured left under the glow of a heat lamp, were born in an incubator on our bird section on September 13.

Head of Birds Kellie Piper said: “Unfortunately, despite building a spectacular nest with the male, the female had started sitting on her eggs but then left the nest so we had to step in and incubate them.

“We’re delighted to say the chicks are thriving now. We are keeping them under a heat lamp and they are both doing well.”

Keepers won’t know the sex of the pair until a couple of weeks time when the colour of their feathers will change. Young males have purple feathers while fledgling females get green plumage tinged with red.

Roul roul partridges are unmistakable birds, with the adult male sporting dark plumage with a spectacular red crest. The adult female is equally distinctive, but very different, with green plumage and a grey head.

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ABOVE – The male roul roul partridge has a spectacular red crest

This small, relatively plump partridge species is found in the lowland rainforests of Myanmar, Thailand, Malayasia, Sumatra and Borneo, where it lives singly or in pairs.

They are often found feeding on fragments of fruit dropped by wild pigs or feeding below trees where primates are feeding.

Roul roul partridges pair for life. They nest in a scrape in the ground which is covered with a complex dome structure of leaves and twigs in which the female is completely hidden from view. The female lays white eggs which hatch after an incubation period of 18 days. The chicks stay with the parents for three months.

In the wild, habitat destruction by logging operations has led to the roul roul partridge being listed as Near Threatened.

DID YOU KNOW . . .

Roul roul partridges use their feet to probe for insects, seeds and fruit on the forest floor

Roul roul chicks are fed bill to bill by their parents