Akron Zoo's First Flamingo Chick

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A Chilean Flamingo chick that hatched on August 20 is the first of its species to hatch at Ohio’s Akron Zoo.

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Forty-eight days oldPhoto Credit:  Akron Zoo

The Flamingo egg was laid in the zoo’s exhibit on July 25.  Keepers collected the egg and placed it in an artificial incubator to increase its chances of successfully hatching. After 26 days, the chick began to hatch, but it took 36 hours for the chick to fully emerge from the egg.

About 24 hours after the Flamingo chick hatched, zoo staff began to hand feed the chick an egg-based formula several times a day.

Eggshell membranes were sent for DNA gender testing, which revealed that the chick is a female. With a current weight of about two pounds, the chick is being raised behind the scenes until she is large enough to join the flock in the exhibit.   The photos show the chick at two days old (top) and 48 days old.

Chilean Flamingos are native to South America, where they inhabit shallow lakes and feed on blue-green algae and brine shrimp by straining water through comb-like structures in their beaks. Flamingo chicks are covered in gray down at hatching, but as adults they sport pink plumage.  The pink color comes from the high levels of beta-carotene in their food.   Chilean Flamingos are plentiful in the wild and not under threat.

First Chilean Flamingo Hatchling for Lincoln Park Zoo

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Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago, is thrilled to announce its first-ever Chilean Flamingo hatchling.

The flamingo chick emerged on September 11, and the zoo is cautiously optimistic that several remaining incubating eggs may hatch within the coming weeks.

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4_Lincoln Park flamingo_9Photo Credits: Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

“We are absolutely elated to welcome our first Chilean Flamingo chick,” said Curator of Birds Sunny Nelson. “As a first hatching for Lincoln Park Zoo and for the flock, the chick is currently raised behind-the-scenes and will be re-introduced to the flock once the chick is more independent.”

The sex of the first-born chick has yet to be determined but shell fragments have been collected and will be sent for DNA testing as a non-invasive method of determining the sex. While a Chilean Flamingo can weigh up to 3.5 kg, the chick was 95 g at hatch--roughly the weight of a bar of soap.

The zoo received breeding recommendations, for its flock, as part of the Chilean Flamingo Species Survival Plan, which cooperatively manages the accredited population.  

Currently, the flamingo chick remains behind-the-scenes, receiving around-the-clock care. In the meantime, the flock of adult Chilean Flamingos is on exhibit daily at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Waterfowl Lagoon.

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Zoo Vienna Has Tons of Pink Flamingo Chicks!

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Ok, not literally tons. But Zoo Vienna in Austria is thrilled about the number of this year's Pink Flamingo chicks: 19 chicks have hatched, and still more eggs are being incubated by parents. 

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Flamingo 3Photo credits: Daniel Zupanc / Zoo Vienna

The first chicks of the year were hatched on June 7. The rearing of chicks at different ages is fascinating to watch. 

“The youngest birds are still in the nest under the wings of their parents, who alternatively keep the chicks warm and feed them with a high-energy liquid from their crop. The bigger birds have already left the nest and are being looked after in a group, similar to a kindergarten,” Zoo Director Dagmar Schratter explains. 

“The baby flamingos are grey. In the wild, this unobtrusive plumage protects the little ones better from predators, but in three years’ time their feathers will be just as pink as their parents'."

In their natural habitat the birds get their pink and orange coloring from carotenoid pigments found in algae and crustaceans which they filter out of the water using their beaks. In captivity, Flamingos are fed food that is high in these pigments, otherwise their feathers would be a very pale pink.

Pink or Greater Flamingos have a very large distribution area: they are found from West Africa through the Mediterranean, Europe, South West and South Asia, and in sub-Saharan Africa. There is estimated to be a population of about 20,000 breeding pairs in Europe, the majority living in the Camargue region in France. Zoo Vienna has been very successfully breeding these birds for many years.

Cincinnati Zoo Shares Photos of New Flamingo Hatchlings


Greater Flamingo chicks are starting to hatch at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.  The eggs nestled safely in the mud mounds are one-by-one beginning to reveal their contents, and the Zoo is excited to share pics of the first few fluffy hatchlings.



4_11295648_10153281045410479_8272391589082796505_nPhoto Credits: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The Greater Flamingo is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is native to parts of Africa, southern Asia (Bangladesh and coastal regions of Pakistan and India), Israel, and southern Europe.

The Greater Flamingo is the largest species of flamingo and averages 43 to 60 inches tall and a weight of 4.4 to 8.8 lbs.

The bird prefers to reside in mudflats and shallow coastal lagoons with salt water. The Greater Flamingo feeds with the head down. Their upper jaw is movable and not fixed to the skull. Using their feet, they stir up mud, then suck water through their bill and filter out small shrimp, seeds, blue-green algae, microscopic organisms and mollusks.

When nesting, they lay a single egg on a mound of mud. Most of their plumage is pink and white, but the wing coverts are red, with black along primary and secondary flight feathers. Their bill is pink with a black tip, and their legs are entirely pink. Sub-adult flamingos are whitish-grey and only attain the pink coloration several years into adult life. The bird’s coloration comes from the carotenoid pigments in the organisms that live in their feeding grounds.

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"Thunderbirds" Thriving After Stormy Start

Zoo keepers at Longleat Safari & Adventure Park have nicknamed five Chilean Flamingo chicks “Thunderbirds” after the eggs were abandoned by their parents during a thunderstorm.

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Photo Credit:  Longleat Safari & Adventure Park

A violent thunderstorm apparently caused the parents to flee the nest and take shelter.  When the adult Flamingoes did not return to the nest, zoo keepers at the United Kingdom zoo collected the eggs from the nests and placed them in an incubator, where they hatched.  Now about a month old, the five chicks are fed by syringe five times per day.

Adult flamingos build a volcano-shaped nest and lay a single egg, which they then usually sit on for around a month.  “It’s extremely unusual for all the parents to abandon their eggs at the same time, however the storm was particularly severe and the adults decided to head for cover – leaving us to look after the eggs,” said Longleat’s Mark Tye.

All Flamingo chicks are born with white plumage, which they keep for around three years.  The bright red pigment in Flamingoes’ feathers is derived from pigments in the small crustaceans and other microscopic plants that the birds eat.  In zoos, special pigments are added to the Flamingoes’ diet to maintain their brilliant hues.

Chilean Flamingoes are native to lakes high in the Andes Mountains of South America and can easily withstand cold temperatures.

A Dozen Fluffy Flamingo Chicks for SeaWorld San Diego


Twelve Caribbean Flamingo chicks have hatched at SeaWorld San Diego in the past three weeks!  The chicks are being hand-raised by aviculturists in SeaWorld’s Avian Center.



Photo Credit:  SeaWorld San Diego

Flamingos lay a single egg on a muddy mound, and both parents care for the chick for up to six years, when the young reach maturity.  Though adult Flamingos are pink, the chicks have downy white feathers.  The birds’ pink coloration comes from pigments in the aquatic organisms that they eat. 

Caribbean Flamingos are also known as American Flamingos.  They are native to some Caribbean Islands, coastal Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia, as well as the Galapagos Islands.

Flamingo Chicks Named After US Presidents at Lion Country Safari

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Lion Country Safari in Florida welcomed three new baby Flamingo chicks that hatched on July 1, 2, and 4. Since safari staff flew up to Washington's Smithsonian National Zoo to pick up the eggs, and the hatchings occurred on and just before Independence Day, keepers are naming them all after United States Presidents. So far they have named hatchlings Washington, Lincoln, and Truman. 

Flamingo chicks grow quickly, their long spindly legs shooting up so fast that it's a trick to strengthen them enough to hold up the birds' gray fuzzy bodies. So parents (or keepers, if they are being hand-raised) take them for daily walks and swims to become strong. It is quite a sight to see a group of little Flamingo chicks on a walk, flapping their little wings and wobbling to and fro. These birds are strong though rare swimmers and powerful fliers, even though they're most often seen just wading. 

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Photo Credit: Lion Country Safari

A chick's bill is small and straight, but will develop the distinct "break" curve after a few months. Flamingo chicks are born gray or white and take up to three years to reach their mature pink, orange, or red plumage; the color is caused by carotenoid pigments in their food, and a flamingo's diet includes shrimp, plankton, algae, and crustaceans.  

Say hello to one of the wobbly hatchlings, seen in the video below:

A Lucky 13 New Flamingo Chicks for Santa Barbara Zoo

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The Santa Barbara Zoo is flush with Chilean Flamingo chicks - thirteen of them to be exact. The past two months have been very successful breeding time for their Flamingo flock. Eight of the new chicks are now on exhibit for visitors to enjoy. The additional five are being hand-raised in the zoo's vet hospital, where they are fed special formula and are doing well. 

Flamingo chicks have downy grey feathers for the first two years of their lives before they take on the light pink color of adults. Their spindly legs need to be strengthened enough to hold up their conparatively large bodies, so the chicks will be encouraged to do their exercise -- daily walks and swims -- as they grow.

Chilean Flamingos do come from Chile but are also found in southern Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and southern Brazil They tend to live and nest in saltwater lakes and lagoons. This lovely bird is classed as Near Threatened.

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Photo Credit: Sarah Varsik

Fluffy Flamingos Join the Flock


The Gladys Porter Zoo is tickled pink to introduce Paige, Chico, and Angela, three baby Chilean Flamingos that hatched earlier this month.  They are the first Chilean Flamingos to hatch at Gladys Porter Zoo in ten years.

Paige emerged from her egg on September 2, 2012. Chico hatched on September 7, and Angela followed soon after on September 8.



In early August, Jesse Olvera, Head Keeper in the Bird Department, traveled to Sea World in San Antonio to obtain the eight eggs that Sea World graciously donated to the zoo. The eggs were artificially incubated for 28-30 days under the watchful eye of the Bird Department.

Though the eggs arrived at the zoo together, the eggs were laid by different parents. Of the eight eggs, three hatched. 

Flamingo eggs must be monitored closely due to their permeable shells. Humidity and temperature must be adjusted and checked regularly, and the eggs must be rotated every four hours to ensure a healthy hatching.

Flamingo chicks have downy grey feathers.  It will take roughly two years before they take on the light pink color of adult Flamingos. 

Photo Credits:  Gladys Porter Zoo

Tickled Pink! Flamingo Chick Hatches at Smithsonian National Zoo


On July 29 a Flamingo chick hatched at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Its sex has not yet been determined. The flock of 63 birds produces about 15 fertile eggs in a normal breeding season, however, the flock had irregular mating patterns this year. They produced only six eggs and did not construct nests that were sufficient to foster them. So this little chick is being raised by hand by Bird House keepers, who work closely with the Zoo's Department of Nutrition to ensure that the chick is growing at an appropriate rate. They feed it a formula designed to mimic the crop milk produced by flamingo parents and just recently added Flamingo pellets to its diet, which contains the carotenoid pigments that turn a flamingo's plumage pink. 

In the next few months, the chick will join the rest of the flock in the outdoor Flamingo exhibit. Before it is introduced to the flock, the chick will stay in a holding pen where it can observe the adults until it is fully independent. Its feathers are fluffy and white now, but once it is on exhibit, visitors will recognize the chick by its smaller size and gray color. It will gain some pink feathers and its bill will be more pronounced and begin to show the trademark bend at around 6 months of age. By its first birthday, the chick will have a plumage of light pink feathers. The darker pink color will develop fully by two or three years of age.

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Photo Credit: Smithsonian National Zoo