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Rare kingfisher hatched at Albuquerque zoo

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Zookeepers at the Albuquerque BioPark are celebrating the recent birth of a rare Micronesian kingfisher.

The male chick is being hand-raised on crickets and soft pieces of meat. At six weeks old, it’s fully feathered and ready to move to a larger enclosure where it will develop flight and landing skills.

Micronesian kingfishers are extinct in the wild. There are only 151 of the birds in captivity.

Officials say this marks the third successful offspring of Micronesian kingfisher at the zoo.

Zookeepers are also monitoring the development of another egg and are cautiously optimistic that kingfisher No. 152 will hatch Friday or Saturday.

The zoo’s curator of birds, Peter Shannon, says the success the BioPark has had with breeding and raising the birds for the past two years is extremely important for conservation of the species.