Saturday, 3 October 2009

New male for 'Tabitha' the Tragopan

This week we had an exciting new addition to the collection, a male Temminck's Tragopan from Paignton Zoo. Sadly our last male, nicknamed 'Terence' by the keepers, passed away from old age about a fortnight ago. He was one of the friendliest birds in the collection and would come up to the keepers to take food before we were really ready! 'Terence' and our female (nicknamed 'Tabitha'), who has been at the zoo since 2007 successfully reared a female chick last year. This bird has since been rehomed but we are keen to continue breeding this species. The birds can live alone or in a pair but we fortunately found a companion for our female in no time at all.

Temminck's tragopan are found in forested habitat in Northeasten India, Southern and Central Asia and Central China. As you can see from the photograph, our new male has not yet got the majority of his colourful adult plumage, he will be fully mature at two years old. At this time we will be hoping to achieve breeding success once again.

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