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Honolulu Zoo celebrates hatching of 4 bird-of-paradise chicks

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                                Two of the bird-of-paradise chicks.


    Two of the bird-of-paradise chicks.

The Honolulu Zoo Monday announced the hatching of four magnificent bird-of-paradise chicks.

The chicks, which hatched individually on Nov. 24, Nov. 25, Friday and Saturday, are housed in the zoo’s main bird building as they mature.

“The Honolulu Zoo family is growing with these animal births and bird hatchings,” said Honolulu Zoo director Linda Santos in a news release. “Our zoo has been fortunate to find much success with breeding the bird of paradise, and these chicks are four of many that we have reared since bringing them to the Honolulu Zoo in the late 80s. While none of the birds of paradise are currently endangered, habitat destruction may pose a problem. Many species of birds of paradise have very small ranges, placing them at particular risk. By finding success with breeding this bird of paradise, we are helping the population as a whole.”

The bird-of-paradise, or Cicinnurus magnificus, is renowned for its elaborate mating dance. The females are bland brown, but males come in vibrant colors. When trying to court a female, the male will clear out an area of branches and fallen debris to perform his dance, which includes vocalizations.

The birds brought to the Honolulu Zoo from Papua New Guinea in the late 80s, according to Honolulu Zoo bird curator Kelly Reno.

While the species is is listed as “least concern” on the IUCN Red List — the greatest threat to their population is deforestation. The indigenous people of Papua New Guinea are working with the government and conservation groups to conserve the species.

The gender of the chicks have not been determined yet. Zookeepers will name the checks as soon as DNA results return, revealing their genders. Two more eggs in an incubator may also hatch on Christmas Day.

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