The Living Desert announces new sibling birds

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Officials at The Living Desert have introduced a new pair of birds that aren't found in many United States zoos.

They said the Crested Coua species is originally from the island of Madagascar. The brother and sister pair that now resides at The Living Desert came from the Walt Disney Animal Kingdom.

"These are the first Crested Coua to come to us, and a beautiful addition to our aviary family," said Allen Monroe, CEO and President of The Living Desert. "Their dazzling colors are mesmerizing and the birds have settled comfortably into their new home in the Madagascar exhibit."

Crested Couas are a type of cuckoo bird that come from forests, savannas and brush lands.  Their brilliant markings feature bright blue skin around the eyes, distinguished by a dramatic turquoise coloring, and a plumed feather crest on their head, zoo officials said in a statement.

The Coua is a medium-sized bird, about 18 to 24 inches long.

According to zookeepers, they have long white-tipped feather tails used for balance since they are not very strong fliers and typically walk along tree limbs to get around.

The female and male Coua take turns keeping the eggs warm.

And officials point out an interesting fact: Coua chicks make the feeding job easier for their parents with their red and white markings on the inside of the chick's mouth giving the appearance of a bull's-eye, showing their parents where to put the food. 

The Living Desert's expanding aviary population includes nearly 30 birds, with ten of them indigenous to Africa.

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