Rare Mauritius Pink Pigeon Hatches at Blank Park Zoo

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The rare Mauritius Pink Pigeon

Rare Mauritius Pink Pigeon Hatches at Blank Park Zoo

Dec 8, 2010

Des Moines (November 24, 2010) – Iowa’s Blank Park Zoo announced today the successful hatching of a very rare Mauritius Pink Pigeon at the Blank Park Zoo’s Myron & Jackie Blank Discovery Center.

“We’re excited about this accomplishment not only for the Zoo but also the future of pink pigeon,” said Mark Vukovich, Blank Park Zoo CEO.

The chick hatched in the middle of October and has already left the nest and can occasionally be seen flying in the Discovery Center Aviary. It will turn its pinkish color when its adult feathers grow in about a year.

The population of this rare bird is estimated between 400 - 500 in the wild and 84 in Zoos and has rebounded from an estimated 10 individuals twenty years ago through the help of a captive breeding program. The Zoo acquired a pair of pink pigeons in early 2009 with the expectation they would become a breeding pair.

Keepers were cautious at first about a successful breeding pair because their behaviors seemed incompatible.

“One of the birds was more social with humans and the other was not,” said Kevin Drees, Director of Animal Care and Conservation. “We didn’t think that was a good sign.”

However, keeper fears were unfounded as the pair nested and both mother and father cared for the chick.

“We hope this is the beginning of many more chicks,” said Chad Comer, Animal Curator. “We have noticed they are already building another nest.”

The Mauritius Pink Pigeon comes from the Mauritius Islands off the continent of Africa. Its diet is made up fruit, vegetables, seed, and greens.

The Mauritius Pink Pigeons were brought to the Blank Park Zoo with the support of the Windsor Charitable Foundation.

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