Animal Diaries Archive
28 March 2008
With the breeding season now over our two Scarlet Macaws, Rio and Maya, have shown some interest in their nesting log, but unfortunately this year breeding success was not to be. So while they are not interested in courting one another we thought we would give them something else to do with their time.
As some of you may be aware Rio and Maya were once part of our free flight bird show, but with their paternal instincts taking hold we decided to take them out and give them a shot of breeding. So they have been given the opportunity to fly free once again and possibly re-enter the show at some point in the future. As it has been some time since they have flown outdoors we had to re-fit them with new tail mounts in order for us to place a telemetry (tracking device) on their tails. As the old tail mount will be moulted out when the bird loses that particular tail feather. Once that was done they were set to go for a fly outside.
To re-introduce them to free flying, we have started them off on flights to select trees along our shuttle track below the rainforest aviary. This provides enrichment for them as they like to chew on parts of the trees like flowers and seed pods as well as forms part of their initial free flight training plan and allows them to build up the necessary stamina to fly in the Crocoseum. As they were both quite experienced with outdoor free flight already it has made our job much easier as all the hard work of training had already been previously done. To do this with a bird that is not properly trained could have dire consequences so is definitely not recommended.
Unlike all of the other show birds Rio and Maya have not been placed on any real training plan, so if they choose to fly along the shuttle track to some gum trees then that is entirely up to them. We will keep working with them in this way until such time as they are then moved into the Crocoseum to start on a routine to join some of our other free flight Macaws such as Peppe and Queto.