Zoo reports rare captive birth of Asian bird

It’s called a white-crested laughing thrush and it’s bringing smiles to zookeepers in upstate New York.

This photo shows Zephyr

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It’s called a white-crested laughing thrush and it’s bringing smiles to zookeepers in upstate New York.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse greeted a new bird March 7.

The chick is named Zephyr.

The birth came as a surprise to zookeepers, who have had no success breeding white-crested laughing thrushes.

Zoo officials say the chick is one of only three born in captivity in the United States over the last year.

The birds are commonplace in Southeast Asia, South China and East India and were once widely imported into the United States, but avian influenza worries forced zoos to stop importation.

White-crested laughing thrushes are co-operative breeders, so the zoo’s three adult birds are helping feed the newborn.

That’s right: Zephyr has three parents.

It’s still a mystery just which ones are mom and dad.

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