For a cute overload this spring, Paradise Park is doing pretty well with two sets of unusual chicks appearing in the park.

Still less than a month old, two Tawny Frogmouth chicks are settling in well at the Hayle attraction.

This unusual bird of prey is native to Australia, and they are often mistaken for owls.

Keeper Sarah-Jayne Cooke said: “The parents have sadly not been very successful in the past at raising their own chicks. So the decision was made to hand-rear these two to give them the best chance of survival. They are just four weeks old, but doing very well, and will soon lose the remaining fluffy bits as their adult feathers come through.”

Tawny frogmouths form partnerships for life and roost out in the open relying on camouflage for defence and build their nests in tree forks. At night, tawny frogmouths emit a deep and continuous 'oom-oom-oom' grunting at a frequency of about eight calls in five seconds. The steady grunts are often repeated a number of times throughout the night.

Tawny frogmouths also make a soft, breathy 'whoo-whoo-whoo' call at night of lower intensity but at the same frequency. Before and during breeding season, males and females perform duets consisting of call sequences that either alternate between partners or are performed simultaneously, and the birds also make distinctive drumming noises during breeding season.

Twoother new arrivals at the park are Pedro and Perdy, the latest arrivals at the penguin pool who are being hand-reared by keepers.

Keeper Bev Tanner said: “Pedro and Perdy are being hand-reared as often in a nest with two chicks only one is successfully raised by the parents. As this is an endangered species it is very worthwhile for us to take the second chick and rear it to increase our flock.”

As the two chicks grown they will gradually be introduced to the main colony. If the weather is fine they will spend time in the nursery area near the penguin pool. It will be July when they may have their first swim, and then visitors will be able to see them out and about at the twice daily penguin feeding and talk times.

When chicks are in the nest they have fluffy grey down feathers. It takes about three months for them to leave their nests, and by this time they have developed the waterproof plumage they need for swimming. Juveniles are grey and white, only developing the distinctive black and white penguin plumage at a year old. The pattern of dark speckles on the adult lower chest, are unique to each penguin, identifying each individual.