Ugly start for stun­ners

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - Josh Zimmerman

THE fa­bled ugly duck­ling is fac­ing some stiff com­pe­ti­tion from the lat­est clutch of par­rots hatched at Perth Zoo.

The chicks, aged be­tween one and four weeks, are not much to look at right now, but just like the fairy­tale it won’t be long be­fore they ma­ture into some of the most stun­ning birds on the planet.

The Sun­day Times vis­ited Perth Zoo this week to pho­to­graph three species of par­rot as they slowly emerged from their nest­ing boxes.

The colour­ful pur­ple crowned lori­keets will not de­velop their dis­tinc­tive pur­ple head­dress un­til they are about eight weeks old, and will be­come brighter and more vi­brant as they reach adult­hood. Na­tive to south­ern Aus­tralia, they are vo­cal birds that make a con­tin­u­ous “zit-zit” sound when fly­ing.

As a chick, the re­gent par­rot is eas­ily iden­ti­fied by its bright orange beak.

By the time it reaches ma­tu­rity at seven weeks it will re­sem­ble a rain­bow, with bright green and yel­low feath­ers and blue-tipped wings with red patches.

Just 10 days old at the time they were pho­tographed, the el­e­gant par­rot chicks were seen open­ing their eyes for the time dur­ing the photo shoot.

Known for their abil­ity to fly very high and drop straight down from a con­sid­er­able height, they will each de­velop green and blue plumage.

Pic­tures: Daniel Wilkins

Face only a mum could love: This lit­tle el­e­gant par­rot is just over a week old and is yet to de­velop his beau­ti­ful plumage. Insets: A pair of pur­ple crowned lori­keets at two and four weeks old.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.