Cute chicks parade around reserve

Call the cute police!

Pictured are two one-week-old peafowl chicks that Sun staff have nicknamed "Precious" and "Sprinkles".

They are two of five chicks that have recently hatched in this year's peafowl breeding season at the Auburn Botanic Gardens and Fauna Reserve in Auburn.

The reserve already has 18 adults which roam free through the gardens and create a visual spectacle for visitors with their bright colours and size.

Fauna keeper Raine Eagleton said the chicks would be cared for by their mother during the year.

"The females completely incubate and raise their babies on their own," Ms Eagleton said.

"After a year the chicks are independent of their parents and then they are classed as an adult."

The chicks' mother nested in the wallaby enclosure which provided a safe environment over 28 days before they hatched.

Precious and Sprinkles live off a daily diet of duck pellet mix as well as using their tiny claws to dig for insects and grubs. They can also fly small heights to protect themselves from predators and to roost at night.

Ms Eagleton said many people didn't know that peafowls could fly.

"If you look at the chicks they are born with wing feathers," she said.

"They are actually built not to fly properly but enough to get off the ground."

"We won't know their sex until they are more than a year old and start showing colour on their feathers."

Males are usually an iridescent shade of bright blue to attract mates. Females are brown, gray or cream.

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