Caribbean Flamingo Chick Takes First Steps at Bronx Zoo
August 16, 2012
A Caribbean Flamingo hatchling took its first steps at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. The chick is helped to its feet by its mother and stands on a nest mound in the pond outside of the zoo’s Aquatic Birds exhibit. Flamingos build nest mounds in the shallow water to keep their eggs and offspring out of the water until they are ready to fledge.
It will be crucial for the little one to develop leg strength through daily walks and eventual swims as it grows, since their legs become so long compared to their body mass. But that is one thing that makes Flamingos so well adapted for their environment. Long legs allow them to easily wade across shallow water and their beaks are specially adapted to filter feed, separating food items from the mud and silt.
Flamingos are hatched with white downy plumage but develop trademark pink coloration from pigments in the algae, crustaceans, and other invertebrates that make up their diet. In the wild, these birds inhabit shallow bodies of salty water where food is plentiful.
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
Below watch the very special moment that was captured as the mother nudges her chick to stand up... and the baby takes it's first wobbly step.
Read more about the Bronx Zoo's conservation efforts below the jump: