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Unique Chicks Grab Attention At The Maryland Zoo

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Monique Griego 370x278 Monique Griego
Monique Griego joined the WJZ News Team in July 2011 as a General...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Zoo has some fresh faces for you to see.  

Monique Griego has more on the newest chicks to hatch and what makes them so unique.

Want to spot the Maryland Zoo’s latest attraction? Just look for the mohawk.

“Their hair will spike out toward the back. They’re very unique. Their name says it all,” said Erin Fitzgerald, zoo keeper.

Fitzgerald is talking about hamerkops, African birds known for their hammer heads. Two new chicks just left the nest after being born two months ago. They are already almost adult-sized.

“It’s amazing watching their development,” said Fitzgerald.

But their spiky hair-do isn’t the only thing that grabs people’s attention.

“Never seen one that big, never even close to that,” said Brian Cimagila, bird watcher.

The hamerkops’ nest is a massive dome made up of thousands of sticks, grass and mud.

“I certainly would not think that was a bird’s nest,” said Cimagila.

It took the birds two months to build.

“It was really awesome to watch them fly around, pick up specific pieces and bend and fold into their nest,” said Fitzgerald.

The nest itself is so structurally sound they say it can actually support the weight of a human.

“I have not tested this theory – have no desire to – but it’s definitely sturdy and very intricate,” said Fitzgerald.

The new birds are still perfecting their flying and have a lot to learn, but they’ll no doubt have a crowd along the way.

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