Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pretty in downy white

Posted by: Gigi Allianic, Communications


We’ve got exciting news! A Chilean flamingo chick has hatched at Woodland Park Zoo, marking the first time the zoo has successfully hatched a Chilean flamingo in its 109-year history!

The chick hatched in an incubator on August 25, following a 29-day incubation period. To ensure a higher chance of survival, a team of dedicated and expert staff are hand-raising and hand-feeding the chick off public exhibit for now.

You might remember the arrival of a new flock of more than 25 flamingos last year. They debuted in a brand new 4,000-square-foot exhibit that opened in May 2008.

This spring represented the first full breeding season for the new flock in the new exhibit as the graceful birds put on a striking show of synchronized courtship and ritualized behaviors for zoo guests – head flagging, wing saluting and marching in sequence and unison. This active display culminated with nest building, egg laying and one chick to date!

Zoo guests can see the adult flamingos and nests in their exhibit near the Temperate Forest. An additional three eggs are currently being artificially incubated and are expected to hatch within the next few days.

Are you wondering why the chick isn’t pink? Flamingo chicks hatch with a whitish, gray down and don’t acquire pink feathering (at first mixed with gray-brown contour feathers) until about 1 year old. They are fully pink by 2 to 3 years of age.
Photos by Ryan Hawk.

1 comment:

  1. oh how cute! i can't wait to come visit it.

    ReplyDelete