Photo: Paradise Park. The new family: the chick can be seen in the background, with Rosie and Valentine at the front. Paradise Park birdkeepers are keen to establish its first-ever breeding colony of Abyssinian lovebirds

THE FIRST EVER Abyssinian lovebird (Agapornis taranta) to reside at Paradise Park in Cornwall has successfully paired with a male and produced a chick.

The parent-reared male chick hatched at the Hayle park on December 21, 2017, and is the first offspring for parents Rosie and Valentine.

Rosie arrived at Paradise Park last summer with a colony of Lilian’s lovebirds (A. lilianae) from a retired birdkeeper (see News, August 2 2017). The birds were moved into the park’s Tropical House, which also features various species including roul-roul partridges (Rollulus rouloul), Luzon bleeding-heart doves (Gallicolumba luzonica) and Pekin robins (Leiothrix lutea).

Two months later, last autumn, staff found Rosie a partner in Valentine, who came from a private breeder in Cambridgeshire.

Keepers say the chick may move to another collection if there is an Abyssinian lovebird hen in need of a partner. The parent birds will remain together as a breeding pair at the park.

Michelle Turton, a spokesperson for the zoo, said: “It’s a triumph for the birdkeeping staff, firstly to find a partner for this long-time single female and then to provide conditions conducive to breeding them.”

The family is currently on display in the Tropical House for the public to see.

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