DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It looks like graffiti or some sort of traffic warning sign… but it’s just a part of the natural anatomy of a chick recently born at the Dallas Zoo.
The crested coua (Coua cristata) is native to Madagascar and has very distinct markings on the inside of its mouth.
The Dallas Zoo recently hatcheted its first crested coua chick and snapped a picture the chirping baby bird. The Zoo promised the image wasn’t photoshopped and explained that coua chicks have individual bull’s eye-like “targets” inside their mouths that are believed to help the adults with feeding.
Crested couas are members of the cuckoo family and grow up to be very colorful, greenish-grey birds, with a tan-colored breast, long white-tipped purplish-blue tail feathers, and a colorful mask 9kind of like a peacock feather) around the eyes.
The birds are not strong fliers but that’s okay since both the mother and father work together to care for their chicks. Crested couas generally spend their time in the treetops, gliding from branch to branch.
Crested couas are usually most vocal before sunset and if they have peers in the area will respond to each others calls creating a sort of chorus effect.
The Dallas Zoo gave no word on if or when the chick would be put on display.