News from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
EIGHT greater flamingo chicks have hatched at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre. Centre manager Nick Brooks said: “It is always great to see flamingo chicks at the centre. They are very popular with our visitors.
“We do a flamingo experience every day at 1.30pm where we put up a scope and show visitors eggs, skulls, feathers and pictures – it’s a great talk and an opportunity to have the chicks pointed out.
“Our adult flamingos are actually as old as Martin Mere as they came from WWT Slimbridge 40 years ago.
“The fact that they still continue to breed is credit to our team of aviculturists and the care they show the birds.”
The greater flamingos are one of six species of flamingos found in the world.
They are the least vibrant coloured of the six species, being a pale salmon pink.
Flamingos are very social birds who need to be kept together in a large group to be happy.
At Martin Mere there are currently 90 greater flamingos and they choose the same partners every year.
A single egg is laid by each pair and both the male and female take it in turns to incubate.
Incubation takes approximately 30 days and all chicks are parent-reared as these social youngsters benefit from being with their mum and dad as well as with each other.
In addition, adult flamingos produce a special crop milk to feed their babies on (pigeons are the only other bird to do this).
The fluffy chicks grow very quickly (up to 2cm a day) and they are fullyfledged by the age of three months.
They are usually grey or white in colouring and it takes approximately two to three years to obtain full pink plumage.
Greater flamingo chicks have hatched at Martin Mere