Partridge In A Pear Tree At The Tennessee Aquarium?

New Hatchling Now At Home Inside the Butterfly Garden

Friday, December 7, 2007 - by Thom Benson

It’s not a partridge in a pear tree, but a newborn crested wood partridge may now be seen under an annatto tree at the Tennessee Aquarium, just in time for the Tropical Holiday Adventure.

A crested wood partridge egg hatched in the Aquarium’s Butterfly Garden on Nov. 4, after an 18-day incubation period. The mother and chick were removed from the exhibit until the chick grew large enough to safely roam the Butterfly Garden with the other partridges. This particular baby bird has grown quickly, and was released back into the exhibit with its mother yesterday, just one month after hatching.

According to Kevin Calhoun, the Aquarium’s assistant curator of forests, it will be some time before we know whether the baby bird is male or female. “The crested wood partridge is basically an Asian quail which is native to Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. If this chick is a male, it will soon show signs of crest feathers.”

Even though crested wood partridges can be seen meandering in the lush vegetation of the Butterfly Garden during the day, they fly into the annatto, olive or pachira trees to roost at night.

The adult wood partridge's bright green feathers compliment the red flowers blooming in the Butterfly Garden which adds a festive feel to the exhibit during the holidays.

The Aquarium’s Tropical Holiday Adventure runs through Jan. 6, featuring tropical “Santa” divers, special programs and Caribbean music.

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