Pelicans lay eggs at Birdland

Cotswold Journal: A pink backed pelican A pink backed pelican

THERE could soon be some baby pink backed pelicans at Birdland after a pair started laying eggs for the first time.

It is believed to be the first time ever that pelicans have produced eggs at the popular attraction in Bourton and staff are cautiously optimistic that the eggs are fertile and will eventually hatch out.

They have carefully placed the real eggs in an incubator and replaced them in the nest with dummy eggs due to concerns the parents could accidentally break them.

Alistair Keen, Head Keeper, said: “We took the decision to remove the eggs after the male was spotted standing on one of them and we did not want to take the risk of losing them.

“This is a new pair of birds which only arrived at Birdland earlier this year and, as far as we know, they have not bred before.

“They have been displaying and nest building ever since they were introduced to the enclosure towards the end of March, so we were keeping a close eye on them and came in on Saturday morning to find the egg.

“A second arrived soon after and it now looks likely a third is on its way."

Pelican eggs usually take about a month to hatch but keepers should be able to see if they are fertile within 10 days.

Pink-backed pelicans are found in Africa, southern Arabia and India and they get their name from the fact that some individuals have a pinkish colouring to the feathers on their backs.

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