Four flamingos first flap at San Diego Zoo

flamingoA quartet of flamingo chicks is greeting visitors at the San Diego Zoo. They have recently begun to explore the island which they call home.

Currently the zoo has four Caribbean flamingo chicks which range from 1 to 8 days of age. For the first 5 to 7 days they stay with their parents on a nest mound created especially for the chick. Slowly after this they begin to become more confident. During this time they explore the island and begin to wade in the water which surrounds it.

The flamingo chicks appear as tennis balls with legs when they are born. They are covered in grey down feathers.

Joop Kuhn, the animal care manager in the bird department of the San Diego Zoo said, ‘“There are over 70 birds in this flamingo colony and they all breed around the same time.’ This means that in the coming weeks another six hatchlings are expected.

Breeding as a group is an adaption that provides safety as Kuhn said, ‘Flamingos are colony nesters, so there is safety in numbers. There are more eyes and ears looking out for disturbances to the colony, and it helps when raising young at the same time.’

The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are among only a handful of zoo’s worldwide to raise four of the five flamingo species. They provide homes for Caribbean, Greater, Chilean and Lesser flamingos. They are highly successful when breeding flamingos having seen 450 chicks successfully hatched.

Photo Source- San Diego Zoo

By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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