A West African crowned crane chick goes for morning walks with Paignton Zoo bird keeper Nikki Watt.
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The only one of three eggs to hatch, the chick is now a month old. It has been named Broccoli because Nikki was cutting up vegetables in the bird kitchen and thought it sounded like a good name…
Walking is good exercise and sunshine is good for its development. In due course it will be DNA tested from an adult feather to determine its sex.
Habitat: Grassland and swamps.
Wild Diet: Insects, grass seed and vegetation.
Behaviour: Cranes choose a single mate and at the start of the spring or the rainy season, move to a secluded place where they establish and defend their breeding ground.
Breeding: Cranes nest on the ground, often in a bare hollow where 2-3 eggs are incubated by both male and female for 28-36 days.
Threats: Habitat destruction and degradation for cattle-grazing, coal mining and other agricultural land-use changes. They are also at risk from hunting, egg-collecting and poisoning from pesticides.
Conservation: The East-African crowned-crane is an Endangered species and is currently protected by law in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Conservation projects are being carried out in these areas.