During the winter months our Keepers were hard at work preparing the Bird Garden for the year ahead. Each aviary has been revamped with perching, ground cover and nest boxes, to provide suitable breeding environments. Many of the ducks prefer open grass and woodchip to dabble for insects, whereas the Laughing Thrushes and Wood Rails like the security of shrubs and trees for cover. Some of our single birds have been paired up with mates. The Red Crested Turacos, our African Grey Crowned Crane and the Nene Geese have all been found new companions. The incubation and rearing rooms housed in the Bird Garden have been given a spring clean ready for the breeding season. The first chicks likely to hatch are the small Pekins chicks which you will be able to visit in the Information Centre. When fully grown, these birds will be used as foster mothers, to hatch eggs and rear chicks for other species in the Bird Garden.
The Chilean Flamingos have undergone a health check looking for any problems. Some of the flock were originally brought to Harewood in 1969. These older birds require a little more attention. Our experienced vet inspects their feet in particular. We keep a close eye out for age related issues such as arthritis, hip and eye problems. Whilst in the Bird Garden please also spare some time to look at our indigenous wildlife through the new vistas we have created across the lake. Join us in the Bird Garden to learn more about our nesting birds and plans for 2014.