We have linked up with Newcastle University’s Centre for Behaviour and Evolution to help carry out research into bird welfare.
A special aviary has been built at the zoo to house European starlings and the university will research the behaviour of the starlings over a period of time.
The aim of the research is to explore how conditions experienced in the first few weeks of life affect long term health of the birds.
Preliminary results suggest that the smallest chicks in a brood age faster than their larger siblings, perhaps because they have experienced greater stress. However starlings tend to have a long life span, some live up to 20 years!
Here at the zoo we are excited to be able to help and be involved in valuable research into these birds.