Kori Bustards, Burrowing Owls Hatch at the National Zoo

Two burrowing owl chicks and two kori bustard chicks are the newest babies at the National Zoo.

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Zoo babies, incoming! Two burrowing owl chicks hatched at the National Zoo May 24. Born helpess chicks are helpless and their eyes are closed. At three weeks old, they begin jumping and flapping their wings, and at four weeks, they are able to take short flights, the Zoo said.
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Even when full grown, the babies will be tiny -- burrowing owls are one of the smallest owl species in North America. The Zoo says the average adult is 10 inches long, only slightly larger than an American robin.
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The owls aren't the only new additions to the National Zoo’s Bird House. Two kori bustard chicks hatched June 9 and 10, respectively.
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Keepers are hand-raising the chicks, which is expected to increase the likelihood that the babies will be able to breed successfully once they're grown. The chicks won't be on exhibit until late August, but you can see their parents at the kori bustard exhibit, located outside of the Bird House.
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It will also help protect them from several wild birds of prey that live on zoo ground. Keepers are feeding the babies a diet of pellets, crickets, peas, greens and fruit, every two hours between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
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Burrowing owls are born with their eyes closed, but the chicks can see you just fine now, thank you.
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Burrowing owl chicks are relatively novel at the zoo. The two that hatched there on Aug. 2, 2009 were the first in 30 years.
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