Friday, November 13, 2009

A walk down Flamingo Road

Posted by: Mark Myers, Curator

Back in September we announced the hatching of the first Chilean flamingo chicks in Woodland Park Zoo’s history. For the best possible care, we’ve been hand-rearing them behind the scenes.



But they still need their exercise for healthy development, so at least once a day, the chicks are taken outside (depending on the weather) and raced up and down to help them stretch out and gain strength in their long legs and developing wings. You can watch zookeeper Ernie Rose take the flamingos for a walk in this video, including a stop by the back of the flamingo exhibit to see the adult birds.

Chicks are hatched with a gray, downy coating. At around 1 year of age, the familiar pink coloration will develop as the adult plumage grows in, the color derived from beta carotene— the same naturally occurring nutrient that gives carrots and other vegetables their coloration. Once the chicks are large enough, they will join the rest of the flock in the exhibit.

Video produced by Ric Brewer.

2 comments:

  1. Are they following him because they imprinted on him, or his clothes / colour thereof, or ?

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  2. Flamingos are very social animals, so this is common flocking behavior.

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