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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 August 2007, 07:36 GMT 08:36 UK
Downpours bring frogmouth chicks
Tig and new chick, Storm
The chicks have been named Thunder and Storm
The recent wet weather appears to have helped two feathered residents of London Zoo end a nine-year wait for them to produce offspring.

The zoo's two female tawny frogmouths, Rita and Tig, both laid eggs on the same day after a recent weekend of downpours.

Each has now hatched to produce two healthy chicks which staff have named Thunder and Storm.

In their native Australia, frogmouths time their breeding with monsoon rains.

They lay their eggs immediately after the rainy season to ensure an abundance of insects for their chicks.

Keepers at the zoo are convinced the recent heavy downpours helped Rita and Tig feel so at home that they finally laid eggs after an unfruitful nine years.

The event was all the more unusual because the birds are housed yards apart in separate enclosures.

Senior bird keeper Adrian Walls said: "We are delighted with our wonderful twin success.

"Needless to say we didn't think the wet weather would have such a surprising result."

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