Twenty-three adorable Flamingo chicks have hatched at Chester Zoo. The eleven Chilean and twelve Caribbean Flamingos started to hatch on June 9, with the last of new arrivals emerging from its egg on July 5.
Each chick hatched to a different female, as Flamingos are monogamous birds and only lay a single egg each year.
Mark Vercoe, Assistant Team Manager of the bird team at Chester Zoo said, “It’s been a really successful breeding season for the Flamingos and we’re delighted with all of the new chicks. They look like fluffy cotton wool balls with little wobbly jelly legs at the moment and it’ll be several months until their pink feathers start to show.
“For a few days after hatching the youngsters tend to stay really close to their parents but they soon grow in confidence and some have already started to wade in the water around their island independently.”
The Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) is a large species at 110–130 cm (43–51 in). It is closely related to the American Flamingo (Caribbean) and Greater Flamingo, with which it was sometimes considered conspecific. The species is listed as “Near Threatened” by the IUCN.
It is native to South America, from Ecuador and Peru, to Chile and Argentina, and east to Brazil. Like all Flamingos, it lays a single chalky white egg on a mud mound.
The Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is a large species that was formerly considered conspecific with the Greater Flamingo, but that treatment is now widely viewed as incorrect due to a lack of evidence. It is also known as the American Flamingo. In Cuba, it is also known as the Greater Flamingo. It is the only Flamingo that naturally inhabits North America.
The Caribbean species is classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.