Philippine Cockatoos are one of the world's rarest parrots with only a tiny number left on a few islands.
Add to that the fact they are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity and the result is a species faced with potential extinction. But we have an excellent record of breeding them in Chester.
Our keepers came up with the idea to set up a 'bird dating agency' away from public view so they have peace and quiet and the female is given the pick of the males.
Our work with the Philippine cockatoo
She's kept in one aviary from where she can see males in next door aviaries through small windows.
Below each window is a perch and we get to know which of the males she prefers by observing which perch she sits on most.
We can tell this by the amount of wood she chews. For males she wasn’t very interested in and hadn’t spent much time near there was very little chewing, but the perch next to her favourite male was chewed to bits.
In 2010 this method led to our first successful breeding attempts when two chicks were successfully reared.
Our keepers have also flown to the Philippines to help breeding projects there through our Philippine conservation programme. It has led to a four-fold increase Philippine Cockatoos on Rasa Island.
We've also supported projects to move bird pairs from specially established breeding centres to other suitable locations in the hope of building numbers further.
In addition we work to educate local people about the desperate plight of these Cockatoos and the need to safeguard them for future generations.
Every time you visit Chester Zoo to see our rare birds and other animals you help us to continue with this important conservation work, both here in Chester and in the wild.