Blue duiker (Philantomba monticola)
Range: Blue duikers live throughout central, eastern, and southern Africa. They inhabit a wide variety of forest and woodlands, including lowland rainforest, gallery forest, coastal scrub farmland, dense thicket, and montane forest.
Description: The Blue Duiker is the smallest antelope in Southern Africa. Measures 12 inches at the shoulders and females weighs 9-10 pounds, while males are slightly smaller at 8-9 pounds. The coat is blue-grey. Both sexes carry short sharp horns, which are often concealed by a tuft of hair.
Diet: Common duikers are omnivores, they typically eat the leaves and shoots of bushes, and fruits and flowers that feeding birds have dropped to the ground. They also dig up tubers and roots with their hooves. Common duikers may also eat insects and even lizards, frogs, rodents and nestling birds, but will also consume insects and eggs.
Lifespan: In captivity, blue duikers typically live for 10-15 years. Their lifespan is shorter in the wild with the oldest known individual surviving to age 12.
Crowned Hornbill (Tockus alboterminatus)
Range: The crowned hornbill is a common resident of the coastal and riverine forests of southern (only the eastern coast) to northeastern Africa, Asia and Melanesia. Crowned hornbills are often found in forests and sparsely wooded areas. They are common in coastal and riverine forests along the east coast of southern Africa.
Description: They are characterized by a long, down-curved bill which is frequently brightly colored and sometimes has a casque on the upper mandible. Hornbills have a two-lobed kidney. It is a medium-sized bird, 20–21 inches in length, and is characterized by its white belly and black back and wings. The tips of the long tail feathers are white. The eyes are yellow; the beak is red and presents a stocky casque on the upper mandible.
Diet: It is predominantly frugivorous, but is an opportunist and will prey on small mammals, reptiles and birds. It forages mainly in trees, where it feeds on insects (often caught in flight), small rodents, small reptiles, seeds and fruits.
Lifespan: This hornbill species can be seen in flocks, usually in the dry season. The hornbill is long-lived, living for nearly 50 years in captivity.
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta)
Range: Hamerkops are native throughout most of tropical Africa, Madagascar, and south west Arabia. They are found in a range of habitats, ranging from forest to semi-desert, though they always live close to water. They are most often found in wetland areas of savannah and woodland. The Hamerkop prefers wetland habitats such as all types of shallow slow moving or still waters including irrigated land such as rice fields, also savannas and forests.
Description: The hamerkop has, for unknown reasons, partially webbed feet. The middle toe is comb-like (pectinated) like a heron's. Its tail is short and its wings are big, wide, and round-tipped; it soars well, although it does so less than the shoebill or storks. They have short legs compared to other wading birds and partially webbed feet. Hamerkop have a wingspan of up to 37 inches and are strong flyers. Juveniles are similar to adults in coloration; chicks have grey down and broad, blunt bills.
Diet: Hamerkops usually feed alone or in pairs and mainly during the daytime, taking a rest at noon to roost. Their diet consists of mainly aquatic invertebrates and they will also eat fish, insects, shrimp and rodents. They wade through shallow water searching for prey.
Lifespan: If a hamerkop makes it to adulthood, it has a good chance of living a long life. The mean adult lifespan is about 20 years.
Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber)
Range: The scarlet ibis is a species of ibis in the bird family Threskiornithidae. It inhabits tropical South America and islands of the Caribbean. In form, it resembles most of the other twenty-seven extant species of ibis, but its remarkably brilliant scarlet coloration makes it unmistakable. The Scarlet Ibis is restricted to the northern third of South America where it occupies a number of aquatic habitats, ranging from mangrove swamps, tidal mudflats, shallow lakes, and anthropogenic wetlands where they feed mainly on crustaceans.
Description: The scarlet ibis is hard to miss! Adults are bright red or scarlet, with somewhat lighter shading on the head, neck and underparts. The longest flight feathers are tipped in black. The long legs of this wading bird are pink, and the toes are partially webbed. These birds have long legs, long bills, and moderately long necks. They are medium-sized wading birds, and usually stand about two and a half feet tall. In shape and size, they are quite similar to spoonbills. On average, the males' bills are 22% longer than the females.
Diet: In the wild, ibis eat a varied diet, including crabs and other crustaceans, small fish, mollusks, frogs, worms and insects. At the Aquarium, the ibis's diet includes fish, crustaceans and insects, as well as a commercial pellet diet.
Lifespan: The life span of the scarlet ibis is approximately 16 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.
Helmeted Guinea Fowl (Numida meleagris)
Range: The helmeted or domestic guinea fowl is originally from a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is commonly hunted as a game bird, as are other wild species of guinea fowl. However, the helmeted guinea fowl has also been domesticated. They live in semi-open habitats such as savanna or semi-deserts, while some, such as the black guinea fowl, mainly inhabit forests. Some perch high on treetops. The helmeted guinea fowl has been introduced in East Africa, the West Indies, the United States, Britain, and India, where it is raised as food or pets.
Description: The Helmeted Guinea Fowl has a bony, helmet like structure on its head rather than a crown of feathers. They have red and blue patches of skin and could also have a slight wattle. The body plumage is grey spangled with white spots, wings are short and rounded and the tail is also short.
Diet: Helmeted guinea fowl can walk 10 km and more in a day, and are great runners. They make loud harsh calls when disturbed. Their diet consists of a variety of animal and plant food; seeds, fruits, greens, snails, spiders, worms and insects, frogs, lizards, small snakes and small mammals.
Lifespan: As with all of the Numididae, they have no spurs which can make them less defensive against predators. They may live for up to 12 years in the wild, and 15-17 years in captivity.