A trio of chicks have recently hatched, including our very first Crested Wood Partridge chicks here at Colchester Zoo!

On 26th May 2023, Victoria Crowned Pigeons, Violet and Ozzy, welcomed their eighth successful offspring here at the Zoo. Mum, Violet, hatched in March 2010 and Dad, Ozzy, hatched in March 2005. The pair arrived at Colchester Zoo in August 2010 from the Rare Species Conservation Centre in Kent and have since hatched 8 successful chicks. The new arrival has recently fledged but is still very young for a fledgling so dad, Ozzy, has been taking care of the little chick as it explores its home with big sister Sonya who hatched back in August 2020.

Victoria Crowned Pigeons have a spectacular crest of lacy feathers on their heads, from which they get their name and are the largest pigeons in the world! They live in lowland forests and forage on the forest floor, enjoying a diet of fallen fruit, berries, seeds and even the occasional snail. Males such as Ozzy, will usually court a female by bowing his head, wagging his tail feathers, and making a loud call. Once paired these pigeons will usually stay together for life.

On 8th June 2023, we welcomed our very first Crested Wood Partridge chicks here at Colchester Zoo! Mum, Wiz, hatched in July 2018 and first-time dad, Ben, hatched in June 2021. Our two females, Aby and Wiz, arrived at the Zoo in January 2021 followed by male, Ben, in December 2021. All three came from The Living Rainforest in Berkshire. Wiz previously hatched young at The Living Rainforest so is an experienced mum.

Crested Wood Partridges are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females look different. Males are easily identifiable by the red crest on their heads whereas females are slightly smaller and generally more brightly coloured. Crested Wood Patridges spend most of their time foraging on the forest floor feeding on fruit, seeds and invertebrates such as Beetles, Wood Ants and Snails.

Visit our Feathers of the Forest exhibit on your next visit and see if you can spot our new arrivals!

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