The chick hatched around three weeks ago alongside its doting foster parents and is doing well and thriving in its home at Slimbridge.
The biological parents of the chick have successfully bred since 2019 – which was the first time crested screamers had hatched at Slimbridge in 40 years!
Phoebe Vaughan, Deputy Living Collections Manager – Aviculture said,
We are thrilled to allow this screamer pair the sensation of parenthood, as technically their genetics would prevent them hatching their own. Fostering eggs can be a gift to rare or specialist species, who might otherwise not find a suitable partner. We are pleased to rear and educate our visitors about these incredible birds and how they use wetlands.
Crested screamers, also known as Southern screamers, mostly live in Peru and Bolivia and have a scream that can travel for several miles.
Staff at Slimbridge have spent time working to optimise the breeding conditions for the species.
Photo credit: Rebecca Taylor
Crested screamers are a monogamous species that make formal pair bonds.
As well as their scream, they communicate through low contact call which pops and clicks in their throat – a sound like popping bubble wrap.
The bald section on their neck allows them to regulate their body temperature by hunching or stretching their neck.
They have air pockets under their skin and hollow honeycomb bones, making them relatively lightweight birds living in a wetland habitat.
Visitors to Slimbridge can see the new screamer family at a distance at Screamer Shore, behind the Andean flamingo exhibit.
Header photo credit: Graham Hann