The Spoonies have been giving all the right signs and signals that they are ready to pair up and move into their breeding aviaries!
Every morning, in recent weeks, the team have been greeted by a chorus of singing Spoonies. Many are reaching full breeding plumage and concentrating on outcompeting one another with song and display whilst they remain as flock.
The team have drawn up a plan for the pairing and locations of the Spoonies this season.
Pair choice is based on our knowledge of successful pairings in the past, condition and activity of the birds and previous years’ experience. The ‘Converted Wintering Aviaries’ are normally where the birds’ winter as a flock. As these are the coolest places within the facility in summer they have been refurbished as breeding aviaries, in hope the cooler temperatures keeps them more comfortable and encourages breeding activity.
As the birds spend winter on the left hand side of the staff corridor, the birds that occupy breeding aviaries on this side can be easily walked through via pop-holes in the side panels of the aviaries.
Those that occupy breeding aviaries on the other side of the corridor need to be caught to be moved. We have found the most stress free way to do this is by simply picking them up one by one. Let me explain… In winter we perform daily observations, sitting on a stool within the wintering aviary to get a close look at each individual. When it comes to catching we use this to our advantage. The birds naturally walk around your feet whilst you sit with them. When they come close you can pick them up with a gentle hand without disturbing the rest of the flock.
Whenever a bird is in the hand we take the opportunity to check them over thoroughly. They have their bills, feet, eyes etc. checked over and are weighed before being released into their aviary.
Stay tuned to find out how the birds have settled!