Buffalo Weaver

Buffalo Weaver

(Dinemellia dinemelli)

Seneca Park Zoo is home to two white-headed buffalo weavers. They reside in the aviary, which can be found inside the Animals of the Savanna building.

Animal Facts

Diet

Buffalo weavers are omnivorous, foraging for fruits, seeds and invertebrates such as beetles and butterflies.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

The range of buffalo weavers extends throughout eastern Africa, from Tanzania to Somalia.

They prefer savanna and shrubland habitat, using grass and thorny branches to weave elaborate nests in trees. Potential threats for this species are habitat loss and fragmentation.

Rouen (Mallard) Duck

Rouen (Mallard) Duck

(Anas platyrhynchos)

The Zoo is home to one male Rouen duck, Ernie. He arrived at the Zoo in 2011.

Animal Facts

Diet

Most of the mallard’s diet is made up of plants. It eats the seeds of grasses and sedges and the leaves, stems and seeds of aquatic plants. It occasionally eats insects, crustaceans and mollusks. Sometimes the mallard forages on farmland, eating grains like corn, rice, wheat, oats and barley.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

The mallard can be found in most of the United States and Canada, wintering throughout the United States and south to Central America and the West Indies.

Naturally, mallards are also found in Europe, Asia and Africa and as an introduced species in Australia and New Zealand. They prefer habitats in shallow inland waterways as well as ponds, rivers, marshes, wooded swamps and lakes for feeding, nesting and socializing.

Mallards are the most abundant and widespread of all waterfowl; every year millions are harvested by hunters with little effect on their numbers. The greatest threat to mallards is loss of habitat, but they readily adapt to human disturbances.

Golden-Breasted Starling

Golden-Breasted Starling

(Cosmopsarus regius)

Seneca Park Zoo is home to one golden-breasted starling. It resides in the aviary inside the Animals of the Savanna building.

Animal Facts

Diet

Though primarily insectivores, golden-breasted starlings may also eat snails, spiders, seeds and fruit.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

Golden-breasted starlings are found throughout eastern Africa, including Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

They prefer arid or semi-arid climates, and are usually found in savannas and shrublands. Although their population trend is stable, they are facing a threat from overcollection for the pet trade.

Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

(Buteo jamaicensis)

The Zoo is home to one female red-tailed hawk who came to the Zoo in May 2014. The red-tailed hawk is a medium-sized bird of prey. Its head is distinguished by a hooked beak and supraorbital ridge over the eyes.

Animal Facts

Diet

Red-tailed hawks feed mostly on small- to medium-sized mammals such as voles, squirrels, rabbits and hares. They rarely take (but have been observed consuming) birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, large insects and carrion.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

Red-tailed hawks are widespread and the most common hawk throughout North America.

In Alaska and Canada, they migrate to avoid severe winters, with migration peaking in October/November. Habitats vary but include rural and urban areas that contain woods, open country, deserts and mountains.

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl

(Bubo scandiaca)

The Zoo is home to three snowy owls, a female named Winter, her female offspring named Rocky (hatched in 2022), and a male named Tundra. Winter was hatched in 2011 and came to Seneca Park Zoo in 2012 from the Bramble Park Zoo in Watertown, South Dakota. Deemed non-releasable, she has an amputated right wing tip injury of unknown origin. Tundra was hatched in July 2013 and came from the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA. Unlike Winter, Tundra is able to fly. In 2014, he was confiscated by the Pennsylvania Game Commission from a private citizen. Because he was imprinted on humans, he was deemed unable to be re-released.

Animal Facts

Diet

Lemmings, mice, rabbits, rodents, waterfowl, other birds and fish.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

Snowy owls are found circumpolar, most often in Arctic habitats where they breed including coastal Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.

They can also be found in northern Scandinavia, Russia, southern Novaya Zemlya (a large island off the northern coast of Russia) and northern Siberia. During the winter season, some snowy owls migrate south to more temperate habitats. Snowy owls usually inhabit open tundra during summer months. They also inhabit lowland grasslands (saltwater grass meadows and freshwater wet meadows), especially for hunting.

They are protected, however, under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act and CITES Appendix II. Snowy owls are victims of collisions with vehicles, gunshot wounds, utility line and airplane collisions, electrocutions and entanglement with fishing lines.

Speckled Mousebird

Speckled Mousebird

(Colius striatus)

Seneca Park Zoo is the home to speckled mousebirds. Their habitat is inside the Animals of the Savanna building.

Animal Facts

Diet

Speckled mousebirds are omnivorous, feeding on fruits, leaves, nectar, and occasionally termites and ants.

Status in The Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status

Speckled mousebirds range widely throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

They prefer forest and savanna habitats but adapt well to other habitats and are often seen in urban areas containing gardens and orchards. Their current population trend is increasing.