Denver Zoo Map

By Molly Maloy, Denver Zoo Graduate Programs Coordinator

By Jennifer Nixon, Denver Zoo Bird Keeper

Introducing this week’s feathered friend, Hochi, a red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis). 

The red-crowned crane is native to the wetlands of Japan, China, Russia, Mongolia and Korea. Some cultures consider this species to be a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity. While folklore believes that they live 1000 years, in actuality they live 50 to 70 years under human care. Red-crowned cranes stand about five feet tall, weigh 15 to 22 pounds and have a wingspan of about eight feet. 

By Betsy Stringer, Denver Zoo Staff Veterinarian 

As a Zoo veterinarian, I get to work with all of the animals here, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, which always keeps things interesting! I love the diversity of species, and no two days at work are alike.

By Jennifer Nixon, Denver Zoo Bird Keeper

We’d like to introduce you to Lou, this week’s feathered friend. Lou is a female, blue-naped mousebird (Urocolius macrourus), a species formerly named blue-naped colies (Colius macrourus.) She turned seven this past February. Her keepers have grown very close to her after they spent a lot of time caring for her, following an accident that broke her leg. She is very small and only weighs 44 grams (about the weight of 9 nickels.)

By Jennifer Nixon, Denver Zoo Bird Keeper

This week’s feathered friend is Beaky, a grosbeak starling (Scissirostrum dubium.) Beaky turns five this year, and is one of the smaller birds in our Rainforest exhibit. His feathers are charcoal-colored, but his beak and legs are bright yellow, and his rump feathers look like they have been dipped in red ink. You shouldn’t have any trouble spotting this bird because he is very active and is one of the noisiest birds in the room.

By Michael Stern, Denver Zoo Assistant Curator of Primates

Denver Zoo’s Director of Conservation Biology Amy Levine has been working in the Ha Giang province of Vietnam since 2009, partnering with the Ha Giang Forestry Protection Department and the University of Colorado Boulder, to assess where the needs of Tonkin snub-nosed monkeys and the local people intersect.

By Kira and Vivian, Denver Zoo Teen Volunteers

Project Polar Bear (PPB) is a competition organized by Polar Bears International (PBI) that’s designed to encourage kids and teens to create community projects which help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Denver Zoo has partnered with Polar Bears International for the past several years, and this year, selected two members from its Teen Volunteer Program to participate in PBI’s competition.

By Jessi Leckrone, Denver Zoo Bird Keeper

This week’s feathered friend happens to be celebrating her 11th birthday this Sunday, August 24! Emerald, a hooded pitta (Pitta sordida), has lived at Denver Zoo since 2004, and hatched at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2003. She currently lives with her new mate, Oz, who joined us just a few months ago. You can distinguish between the two by the bands on their legs; Oz’s band is white, while Emerald’s is metal.

Denver Zoo zookeepers welcomed the hatching of a hooded crane chick on June 12, thanks to help from the International Crane Foundation.

By Jennifer Nixon, Denver Zoo Bird Keeper

This week’s feathered friend is the very special Caboose, a baby African pygmy goose (Nettapus auritus). This adorable duck hatched in Denver Zoo’s Avian Propagation Center on July 18. Caboose is unique because he is the first of his species born at Denver Zoo since we first began housing them in 1973. This species has proven very difficult to breed in the past.


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