Posted January 22, 2021 in News
Elvis & Pricilla – the new love birds in town at Colchester Zoo as Valentine’s Day approaches!
Back in July 2020 Colchester Zoo welcomed Pricilla, a 2-yr old female Wreathed hornbill, this was a new species of hornbill at Colchester Zoo and Pricilla has settled in extremely well.
6 months on, Elvis entered the building to join Pricilla! The 8-month-old male joined us on the 14th December 2020 from Amsterdam and he has made himself at home which is wonderful to see.
In the short time he has been here he has already gained confidence around the Animal Care Team who say he has a very sweet and calm temperament. Elvis will happily sit and watch the team as they clean his enclosure and likes to ‘chat’ to the team when they bring in his food. Pricilla is also very ‘chatty’ and so they have that in common with one another!
Another fantastic development for our vulnerable Wreathed hornbill pair is that Pricilla, our female, is smitten with Elvis! With just a few weeks to go until Valentine’s Day it is clear love may be in the air, they regularly sit close together and Pricilla is often seen preening Elvis’ tail and wing feathers – a sign of love for sure!
The male of this species, like Elvis, has a yellow pouch under their beak and are also larger than the female whereas a female’s pouch is blue, and they have a shorter beak. The name ‘wreath’ refers to the flattened band near the base around their bill. These hornbills also appear to have eye lashes, but these are in fact just modified feathers! Our pair of hornbills still have their juvenile colouring but we will begin to see this changing as they get a little older.
This species of hornbill comes from south-east Asia and lives in primary rainforest, mainly in the lowlands. They like to eat fruit, small vertebrates, and invertebrates.
Wreathed hornbills are currently listed as vulnerable and so we hope this new couple may become a breeding pair in the future and help to grow the population of their species.