August was a month full of great weather, fun events and baby birds at the Aviary! Among our nestlings are some newcomers that will leave you tickled pink. If you havent heard the news already, our colorful pride of chilean flamingoes have added two new additions to their flock! On August 14, our first male flamingo was born to parents green 34 and green 38. The second chick, a female, hatched just a few days later on August 19 to parents blue 60 and green 33. Our keepers Identify the parents by the bands they wear and have been monitoring them throughout nest building and incubation process to make sure they are fit parents for the chicks. They have proven their abilities throughout the preparatory stages and even more so as the chicks have arrived, keeping very careful eyes on their babies as they explore new life in their Aviary home. The flamingo babies can be identified as well, the male being far bigger than the female. Flamingo parents are able to recognize their own chick through vocalizations, which can be observed with our flock as well.

 

48594483606_348d8172d6_o.jpg

48594630852_4d98975f7d_o.jpg

In the first days of life, the chicks remained on their nests with parents keeping them under their wing and within eyesight at all times. Within the 1st week, however, they began walking, swimming, and exploring their exhibit, still always keeping their parents close by.  As they age, the chicks will depend on their parents’ crop milk for about the first 6 months of life, but will also begin eating foods like flamingo pellets and algae on their own within the first week. These foods provide additional nutrition to the chicks as they continue to grow... and they are growing fast! They seem to be learning everything from feeding to standing on one leg after only a few days of being born. Not to mention, they get bigger and bigger every day. 

 

  1A2A5123.jpg

Our unique method of raising chicks involves the benefits of them living in the flock and being tended to by their parents while also keeping them safe at night.  Every night at sunset, our keeper staff will bring the chicks inside where they are kept in a warm brooder to ensure their safety and health. The keeper then returns the chicks to their parents first thing in the morning. Once they are strong enough to walk, run and swim, as well as when they are big enough (around 1000g), they will remain outside with their flock throughtout the entire night. In the wild, flamingoes form large chick nurseries also called a “crèche” where parents will leave them for periods of time while they forage for food, so being without their flock for extended periods of time is not uncommon for flamingo chicks. 

 

48607965133_0559351660_o.jpg

Now that the chicks are here, we have begun the name-picking process! However, we are going to need help. Our first chick will be named by a donor who had the highest bid at our annual conservation gala, Ready to Hatch. The second flamingo chick will be named by the public through a voting process on facebook. If you have ever wanted the opportunity to name one of our birds, here is your chance! Our keepers have decided to go with an Avengers theme for our second chick, because they have done "whatever it takes" to make sure these chicks have made it here safely and happily. They even went to such measures as installing netting around the flamingo exhibit prior to their birth to keep the babies safe from a family of cooper hawks that live near by. The names they have decided on are:  

Spiderman

Stormbreaker

Hawkeye

Fury

You will have the opportunity to vote on a name this Thursday, September 5th, via facebook and the names will be announced along with flamingo face paint, crafts, acitivities, bird shows and keeper talks at our Let's Flamingle celebration on September 14th! 

 

- Mackenzy Johnson, Public Relations Coordinator 

Published in Bird Tweets