Rare Philippine cockatoo chick thriving at Bristol Zoo


People called him an ugly duckling when he hatched with hardly any feathers and dark bulging eyes.

They said this Philippine cockatoo chick was more like a tiny dinosaur than a bird.

Others said he was featherless and small.

But just look at him now.

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Four months on, he is fully grown and has snow white plumage with bright orange and yellow tail feathers.

He sits proudly on his perch at Bristol Zoo, where he enjoys a diet including his favourites of green beans, grapes and nuts.

It is a far cry from his first days of life when he had very few feathers and tipped the scales at only 26g.

His arrival was significant because he was the first Philippine cockatoo chick to hatch at Bristol Zoo.

Bird keeper Kylie Abram said: "We are very proud to have produced a Philippine cockatoo like this.

"Breeding Philippine cockatoos in the UK zoos is very difficult, they are considered one of the most challenging species to breed."

Philippine cockatoos, also known as red-vented cockatoos or kalangays, are listed as critically endangered on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

As their name suggests they come from the Philippines where they were common until 1950.

They have since gone into a rapid decline with the population now estimated at between 560 and 1,150.