Endangered wattled curassow bird hatches in time for Father's Day at the Houston Zoo

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Saturday, June 17, 2023
Rare bird hatchling joins Houston Zoo lineup
The Houston Zoo has been named the top zoo to breed the endangered species successfully and increase the numbers among human care.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As we fly into Father's Day weekend, a new dad is in town at the Houston Zoo after a rare, wattled curassow chick was hatched.

This is the first time in 30 years that this form of bird is being raised by its parents at the zoo. Each hatch is significant for the wattled curassows, as this bird is endangered. It is a rare type from the Amazon Rainforest and can be found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru.

For the past 20 years, the Houston Zoo has bred the wattled curassow chicks.

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The current zoo population consists of only 25 birds across five organizations within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and six of those birds live at Houston Zoo.

The birds' numbers in the wild are declining due to habitat loss, hunting, and predation.

Within the species, the female wattled curassow incubates the egg while the male remains close by to guard the nest.

The males have white feathers and iconic wattles and knobs, indicative of their name, while the females have a combination of red and brown colors.

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Wattled curassows are vocally distinct and produce an easily identifiable whistle.

Those who want to see the rare hatchling under the watchful eyes of its parents can view it in the Savanna Aviary in South America's Pantanal.

By visiting the Houston Zoo, a portion of each membership and ticket will help the zoo provide support for replanting trees in South America.