Rhinoceros hornbill chick

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Keepers are watching the rhinoceros hornbill nest with eager anticipation of this year's chick emerging soon.

Hornbills do not breed readily in captivity, indeed, ours is one of only two hatched this year in North America. We are particularly proud of this, our third, successful breeding.

In 2006 we traded males with the El Paso zoo in compliance with the SSP recommendation. While we were reluctant to trade a mature, proven breeder with an unproven young adult, this new male has demonstrated his excellent parenting skills at only 7 years of age!

The chick should begin pecking away at the nest wall in the near future.

It can take several days to chip a hole large enough to squeeze through. The chick will be almost adult size when it emerges, but can be differentiated from its parents by its blue eyes and lack of a casque on its upper bill.

The Phoenix Zoo is located at 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. Rain or shine, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Day (Dec. 25). Regular-season hours (Sept. 1-May 31) are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Summer hours (June 1-Aug. 31) are 7 a.m.-1 p.m. during the week and 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on the weekends Admission is $14 for adults, $6 for children and $9 for seniors. For more information, call 602-273-1341 or visit .