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 It’s been a long day and it’s almost time to leave, but I wanted to fit in a final quick visit with the lorikeets and check in on the newest chicks. We’ve added nine total chicks to our main flock, and they grow up so fast! The lorikeets are part of our larger breeding program within the Bird Department. Birds make up a whopping 40% of the zoo’s entire collection, and our numbers of around 300 are always changing as we hatch new chicks and send birds to zoos all over the country. Birds are especially vulnerable to threats like habitat loss, but many species have been saved from the brink of extinction with captive breeding and release programs. Our observations of everything from egg incubation to nest type helps contribute to a larger body of knowledge on how to help wild birds, and every chick we hatch helps create a genetically diverse “backup population” of threatened species. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along with me and seeing a behind-the-scenes look at the Bird Department. Make sure to set aside some time on your next zoo visit to hang out with the birds, and maybe me! I’m frequently walking around the bird area and I love answering questions. #TakeoverTuesday – Anna Turkett, Lorikeet Keeper and Interpreter
 Next it’s time to help catch up a couple of our Kori Bustards for their West Nile Vaccine. I’ve really fallen in love with the Kori Bustards since I started working with them. They can be up to 4 feet tall and weigh 40 pounds, making them the heaviest flying bird in the world. Every bird has their own personality… the Kori I’m holding is named Prissy, she’s one of our most curious birds and will sprint across the yard for her favorite treat of peanuts. The Koris live with many other birds and mammals in a space known as Kori Kountry. It’s tucked away between the Sea Lions and the Gator Swamp and it’s one of my favorite places in the zoo. #TakeoverTuesday – Anna Turkett, Lorikeet Keeper and Interpreter
 They say no two days are alike when you work with animals, and this morning I’m greeted with a surprise crisis – one of our lorikeet breeding pairs has left a dent in their egg. Thankfully back in January I went to a special Avian Egg Incubation Workshop where I learned best practices in egg repair. After looking at the egg with a high powered light (called candling) to assess the damage, I used paper towels and plain non-washable white glue to repair the dent. Now it’s safe and sound back in the nest! #TakeoverTuesday – Anna Turkett, Lorikeet Keeper and Interpreter
 Hi! I’m Anna Turkett and I’m the Lorikeet Keeper and Interpreter in the Bird Department. I oversee the Schaeffer Eye Center Lorikeet Aviary and manage our lorikeet breeding program. As an interpreter I work to connect zoo guests with the bird collection – whether through keeper chats, tours, feedings, or just stopping for a quick chat in the bird area. I also help with all kinds of animal care throughout the department, including working with our Green-Winged Macaws. I’m excited to have you follow me for an exciting day in the Bird Department! #TakeoverTuesday – Anna Turkett, Lorikeet Keeper and Interpreter
 The 12th annual Zoo Run is this Saturday! Be sure to register at www.birminghamzoo.com/event/12th-annual-zoo-run/ to help as we raise funds for the The Marine Mammal Center. The Birmingham Zoo's sea lions, Gio and Farley, came to the Birmingham Zoo from the Marine Mammal Center in 2010 after stranding three times off the coast of California. ( by Scott Kayser)
 Yuma and Kaya, the coyotes, can be found in the Zoo's predator building. Unfortunately, many people across the country view coyotes as a “pest” animal. What many don’t know is that coyotes play an important role in the local ecosystem by helping control the rodent population. To peacefully coexist with the coyote, there are many things you can do. These include not feeding pets outside, not leaving pets unattended outside and keeping trash in high quality containers with tight fitting lids. ( by Scott Kayser)
 Sarge, the gray rat snake, visited @wbrcnews this morning with information on what you can do if you find a snake in your yard this time of year. For info on Alabama's snakes, visit www.birminghamzoo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/snake_flyer_final.jpg
 Shifu is one of the two red pandas at the Birmingham Zoo. Did you know red pandas are crepuscular? This means they are most active at dusk and dawn. You can visit the red pandas in the Predator Building on your next trip to the Zoo! ( by Scott Kayser)