Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Flamingo chicks a first for Australasia

10 January 2014

Two flamingo chicks have successfully hatched at Auckland Zoo – the first chicks ever bred in Australasia, and the first time a zoo has successfully bred from an entirely hand-reared flock anywhere in the world.

What was viewed by other zoological organisations as an ‘ambitious plan’ has become a great success and is an important step towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of Auckland Zoo's flock.

Former exotic birds team leader, now head of capital works and infrastructure, Michael Batty has been waiting for these chicks since raising and transporting Auckland Zoo’s flock of Greater flamingos to New Zealand in 2001, from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) in Slimbridge, England.

“No zoo has ever successfully bred from a completely hand-reared flock before. These two chicks are the first in the world. It’s wonderful, we’ve achieved the circle of life,” says Michael.

Flamingos are flock birds, but Michael says each bird develops its own personality traits and he looks forward to see what these two will be like.

Team Leader Pridelands Nat Sullivan, has been monitoring the chicks’ progress since incubation.
“It is a privilege to be part of the first hatching. They’re doing really well, communicating with each other which may be why the second chick is making even faster progress than the first.”

As young flamingos, they lack the pink feathering for which the birds are famed. This pink plumage develops over their first three years, due to the carotenoid pigment in their diet, which is high in alpha and beta-carotene (humans eat beta-carotene when they eat carrots).

Their sex will not be determined for some time and it will be a few months before visitors can come and see them, but it will be worth the wait.

Greater flamingo facts
• Auckland Zoo has a flock of Greater flamingos
• Apart from one in Australia, this is the only flock of flamingos in Australasia
• Both parent flamingos build the nest, and these are mounds made of mud, small stones, straw and feathers
• These mounds can be as high as 30cm and are shaped like a volcano. Mound building begins up to six weeks before the eggs are laid
• A female flamingo only lays one egg on the nest, but both parents take turns at sitting on the egg until it hatches – which takes about one month
• A baby flamingo is a brown/grey colour and does not turn pink until it reaches two years of age
• There are six different types (species) of flamingo - the Greater flamingo is the tallest, growing up to 150cm
• Groups of flamingos can-be-called flocks, a stand or flamboyance
• Their webbed feet are used to stir up the mud and water when they are looking for food. Having webbed feet also helps them swim
• They get their bright pink colour from eating shrimp-like crustaceans
• Flamingos have long pink legs – and their knees are actually their ankles
• When resting or sleeping, flamingos stand on one leg with the other leg tucked up under their body. It’s a flamingo’s most comfortable position!

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Album Review And Rap Beefs: Tame Impala, Currents.

Tame Impala’s new album Currents has one of the hallmarks of an enduring album. At first listen it seems like good, if somewhat ordinary, pop but as you go back more and more layers unravel revealing deeply rich, expertly crafted songs. More>>

Flagging Enthusiasm: Gareth Morgan Announces Winner Of $20k Flag Competition

The winner of the Morgan Foundation’s $20,000 flag competition is “Wā kāinga / Home”, designed by Auckland based Studio Alexander. Economist and philanthropist Gareth Morgan set up the competition because he had strong views on what the flag should represent but he couldn’t draw one himself. More>>

ALSO:

Books: The Lawson Quins Tell Their Incredible Story

They could have been any family of six children – except that five of them were born at once. It will come as a shock to many older New Zealanders to realise that Saturday July 25 is the Lawson quintuplets’ 50th birthday. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Wartime Women

Coinciding as it does with the movie Imitation Game which focusses on Alan Turing breaking the Enigma code in Hut 6 at Bletchley Park (“BP”), this book is likely to attract a wide readership. It deserves to do so, as it illustrates that BP was very much more than Turing and his colleagues. More>>

Maori Language Commission: Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori 2015

The theme for Māori Language Week 27 July – 2 August 2015 is ‘Whāngaihia te Reo ki ngā Mātua’ ‘Nurture the language in parents’. It aims to encourage and support every day Māori language use for parents and caregivers with children” says Acting Chief Executive Tuehu Harris.. More>>

ALSO:

Live Music: Earl Sweatshirt Plays To Sold Out Bodega

The hyped sell-out crowd had already packed themselves as close as they could get to the stage before Earl came on. The smell of weed, sweat and beer filled Bodega – more debauched sauna than bar by this point. When he arrived on stage the screaming ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news