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Non-estrildid Australian passerines in US zoos?

Discussion in 'United States' started by Zygodactyl, 27 Nov 2017.

  1. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    As I mentioned in another thread, I'm reading Where Song Began, and this is reminding me how many Australian birds I'd like to see. (Like the author, I'm including both Tasmania and mainland New Guinea in Australia.) I'm pretty sure every Australian parrot in captivity can be found in some zoo, zoos tend to have a wide variety of estrildid finches, and magpie geese and laughing kookaburras are also common. Australia also has a large number of duck species I'd like to see, but I'll leave that aside for the moment, since most of the Australian birds I most want to see are songbirds. (I wrote "passerines" in the title, but the only non-songbird passerines Australia has are broadbills and I'd love to see one of those as well.)

    The Australian songbirds I'd most like to see are the lyrebirds (either or both species), apostlebird, white-winged chough, scrubbirds (either species), Australian magpies, and any species of honeyeaters, though I'd be happy to see most any Australian species. (I'm usually happy to see birds period, except common starlings.) I'm also interested in bowerbirds and birds of paradise, even though I've seen both before and thus know US zoos have them.

    I'm fairly certain that to have any chance of seeing a scrubbird I'd have to go to Australia, seeing as both species are currently endangered but even Australian zoos don't seem to be captive-breeding them. I looked up all the other birds of particular interest to me on Zootierliste, and observed that with the exception of the lesser friarbird (held by Wuppertal) and the Australian magpie, all the birds which most interest me are formerly but not currently held by European zoos (including both species of lyrebird, at one zoo each). However the US seems to do worse than Europe when it comes to birds, so it wouldn't surprise me if no US zoo ever held any of these except maybe Australian magpies.

    Still, I never expected US zoos have to have kagus, so I've decided to be optimistic. It still seems plausible to me that American zoos might have Australian magpies, and maybe some farsighted zookeeper somewhere obtained honeyeaters or lyrebirds.

    Even if they haven't, bowerbirds and birds-of-paradise are fun to see, and I know that Miami and San Diego have fawn-breasted bowerbirds and tons of zoos (including the Dallas World Aquarium) have Ragianna birds-of-paradise. And maybe some Australian songbirds that wouldn't even have occurred to me are present in US zoos.

    So yeah, aside from the cases I mentioned, does anyone know of US zoos with Australian passerines which aren't estrildid finches?
     
  2. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Brookfield Zoo has Blue-Faced Honeyeaters.
     
  3. zoo_enthusiast

    zoo_enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    Bronx Zoo has the Australian magpie
     
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  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Which broadbills do you think occur in Australia?
     
  5. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    I got broadbills confused with pittas somehow. My mind works in peculiar ways. Still, I'd be happy to see any pitta that's not the hooded pitta, so my point stands.
     
  6. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    The San Antonio zoo has blue-faced honeyeaters! I know that I was interested in honeyeaters the last time I went, so either I forgot in the excitement of some of their other birds (they have a lot of neat birds and I had memorable experiences with three of them last time), or else they weren't on display.

    This time I had a great experience with them and wouldn't have forgotten even if I hadn't started this thread. After thinking I wasn't going to see them, I went back to the cage one last time and they both flew out to investigate me (not sure why they didn't do that the first two times I was at the cage). Then I went back to the cage one last time for real and one of them flew out to investigate again.
     
  7. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    I made this list some time ago so I’m not 100% certain of its accuracy. Technically, some of the species found in US zoos aren’t the right species due to some taxonomic changes (emerald dove, for example) but it’s all relatively close.

    Southern Cassowary

    Emu

    Magpie Goose

    Spotted Whistling-Duck

    Plumed Whistling-Duck

    Wandering Whistling-Duck

    Cape Barren Goose

    Freckled Duck

    Black Swan

    Australian Shelduck

    Radjah Shelduck

    Green Pygmy-Goose

    Cotton Pygmy-Goose

    Maned Duck

    Australian Shoveler

    Garganey

    Chestnut Teal

    Pink-eared Duck

    White-eyed Duck

    Australian Brushturkey

    Blue-breasted Quail

    Little Penguin

    Black-necked Stork*

    Cattle Egret

    Straw-necked Ibis

    Black Kite

    Buff-banded Rail

    Painted Buttonquail

    Sarus Crane

    Brolga

    Bush Thick-knee

    Masked Lapwing

    Silver Gull

    Emerald Dove

    Common Bronzewing

    Crested Pigeon

    Squatter Pigeon

    Wonga Pigeon

    Diamond Dove

    Wompoo Fruit-Dove

    Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove

    Collared Imperial Pigeon

    Pied Imperial Pigeon

    Tawny Frogmouth

    Laughing Kookaburra

    Blue-winged Kookaburra

    Collared Kingfisher

    Dollarbird

    Palm Cockatoo

    Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo

    Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

    Gang-gang Cockatoo

    Pink Cockatoo

    Galah

    Long-billed Corella

    Little Corella

    Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

    Cockatiel

    Superb Parrot

    Regent Parrot

    Princess Parrot

    Australian King-Parrot

    Red-winged Parrot

    Eclectus Parrot

    Bourke's Parrot

    Turquoise Parrot

    Scarlet-chested Parrot

    Port Lincoln Parrot

    Mallee Ringneck

    Crimson Rosella

    Eastern Rosella

    Pale-headed Rosella

    Western Rosella

    Red-rumped Parrot

    Mulga Parrot

    Hooded Parrot

    Golden-shouldered Parrot

    Double-eyed Fig-Parrot

    Budgerigar

    Musk Lorikeet

    Rainbow Lorikeet

    Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

    Blue-faced Honeyeater

    White-breasted Woodswallow

    Australian Magpie

    Fawn-breasted Bowerbird

    Metallic Starling

    Painted Firetail Finch

    Diamond Firetail Finch

    Star Finch

    Plum-headed Finch

    Zebra Finch

    Double-barred Finch

    Masked Finch

    Long-tailed Finch

    Black-throated Finch

    Blue-faced Parrotfinch

    Gouldian Finch
     
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  8. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    Unsurprisingly, most of those are either parrots or estrildids, both of which are also well-established in the pet trade. (Indeed those two groups pretty much are the avian pet trade.) The part of your list which answers my question consists of five animals (three of which I've seen), though you seem to be looking at Australia the country, since several New Guinea species I know are found in the US are omitted. The big surprise is the white-breasted woodswallow. I would not in my wildest dreams have thought that an American zoo would have woodswallows. Do you recall which zoo(s) had them?

    Also, while my question was about non-estrildid passerines, as I said I'm also interested in Australian waterfowl (also parrots but those are usually advertised on zoos' websites and they dominate both the Australian birds zoos have and the parrot collections zoos have), and four of the five Australian waterfowl I really want to see are on that list: freckled ducks, maned ducks, pink-eared ducks, and Cape Barren geese. (Musk ducks, sadly, are not.) Since none of those except for the pink-ears are particularly colorful or weird looking (and those seem to be the criteria for waterfowl) I'm pleasantly surprised at that too.
     
  9. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    I have seen woodswallows at Cincinnati and Miami.

    Most of these waterfowl are established because of the work of Mike Lubbock, who runs Sylvan Heights Bird Park. The only holder of pink-eared duck besides them is currently Central Park, though San Diego formerly had the species. Freckled ducks recently expanded rapidly, and zoos such as Sedgwick County, Miami, Busch Gardens Tampa, Fort Worth, and Columbus now hold the species, among others. Maned ducks are a bit of an oddity which I’ve seen at San Antonio and Omaha. Cape Barren geese are probably the most common of all of those species. An attempt was made to establish the musk duck in captivity but it was unsuccessful.
     
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  10. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Well-Known Member

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    I was just at San Antonio. I was looking through the signs along the row that holds crocodilians, turtles, and waterfowl for anything interesting on my way to the Hixon Bird House, but I wasn't super-methodical about it. Are they in that area, or somewhere else?

    Are the woodswallows at Miami in Wings of Asia? I find new surprises every time I go (which is partially because I've never been able to spend as much time as I want at any visit); I'd love to spend a whole day in that aviary sometime. (Hell, I'd kind of like to live there.) But even with a whole day I probably wouldn't even have noticed them if I didn't know to look for them; I only noticed the bowerbird for the first time last year because he was making a racket.
     
  11. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    I have seen them in multiple areas of the zoo. I do not know where they are at present.

    Yes, the woosswallows are in Wings of Asia. All you have to do in that aviary is open your eyes, and look up.
     
  12. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    White-breasted Woodswallows are also at San Diego and Sedgwick.
     
  13. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Lincoln Park has them too. Milwaukee just got some also.