The Hottentot teals at Regenstein African Journey are one of the shier species at the zoo, but that didn’t stop our resident flock from producing two tiny ducklings last week.
The two Hottentot teals are growing behind the scenes at the McCormick Bird House
The new arrivals, which hatched April 13, are rapidly growing behind the scenes at the McCormick Bird House. The pair started their incubation in a grass nest constructed by their mother. Given the predatory instincts of the Abdim’s stork and hadada ibis sharing their mixed-species aviary, though, our animal care experts opted to move them to the Bird House for incubation before the hatch.
This hatch is the first for the species in Lincoln Park Zoo’s long history. It’s an exciting milestone. Native to Africa, Hottentot teals feed on seeds, plants and insects they find in the water. The adults represent the smallest dabbling duck species…and as you can imagine, the ducklings are even smaller!
The tiny ducks are very active and vocal, spending lots of time following each other around their little habitat. They’ll continue to grow behind the scenes for the next few months, at which point they’ll find new homes in other accredited zoos. It’s fun news, especially for a bird enthusiast like me.
In other fun news, we have two special events scheduled Saturday. Members can start their day with Members-Only Morning, which offers special activities and exclusive access to the heart of the zoo from 8–10 a.m. Later, animals throughout the zoo will receive eco-themed enrichment as part of the Party for the Planet, an early Earth Day celebration shared by zoos across the country.
This weekend also marks the beginning of National Volunteer Week, a great chance to celebrate everything volunteers do for the zoo. We have some special events planned to show our appreciation, but you can help too—if you see one of our volunteers during your visit, be sure to thank them for me!