BALTIMORE. The Maryland Zoo announced on Tuesday that two von der Decken hornbill chicks hatched last month.
The two-week-old chicks hatched in early July and will not be visible to the public for several weeks. The zoo said this is due to the mother bird’s nesting instinct, which is to pelt the nest with mud until the chicks are large enough.
Right now, the nest only has an entrance for the male to bring food, but eventually the mother will need to open the nest to bring food for the growing chicks as well.
The birds, named after German explorer Baron Karl Claus von der Decken, inhabit scrub forests and dry savannahs throughout eastern Africa. Their diet is a mixture of fruits, insects, meat and vegetables.
“We first brought von der Decken to the Maryland Zoo in 2012 and have had success with our breeding mate and the offspring of these amazing, highly social birds,” said Jan Kottian, zoo curator.
“They are easily recognizable by their hooked beaks and white and black feathers,” Kottyan continued. “The female has a black beak, while the male has a bright orange. They are all very agile fliers.”
Birds can usually be seen in the African Aviary along the African Waterhole boardwalk, but the aviary is currently closed due to biosecurity concerns.The zoo closed its enclosures in March.
To learn more about hatching two Von der Decken’s hornbill chicks and when they are available to the general public 410-396-7102.