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

 
Review: Howard Davis On Olivier Assayas' 'Personal Shopper'

Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper is stylish, mysterious, and very strange indeed. It manages to be both ghost story and suspense thriller, yet also a portrait of numbed loneliness and ennui , held together by an peculiarly inexpressive performance from ... More>>

Howard Davis: Never Too Old To Rock & Roll - Jethro Tull

As Greil Marcus recently observed in an NYRB review of Robbie Robertson's autobiographical Testimony, in rock and roll there is always an origin story. In the case of Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson, he claims to have been influenced by his father's big band and jazz record collections and the emergence of rock music in the 1950s, but became disenchanted with the "show biz" style of early US stars like Elvis Presley... More>>

October: Alice Cooper Returns To NZ

It was March 1977 when Alice Cooper undertook his first ever concert tour of New Zealand – and broke attendance records. 40 years on and this revered entertainer continues to surprise and exude danger at every turn, thrilling audiences globally! More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: The Contemporary Relevance Of Denial

Denial has all the hallmarks of a riveting courtroom drama. Based on a 1996 British libel case that author David Irving brought against Lipstadt, the movie has been criticized as flat and stagey, but it nonetheless conveys a visceral clarity of vision and sense of overwhelming urgency. More>>

Obituary: John Clarke Dies Aged 68

Andrew Little: “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am devastated by John Clarke’s death. He taught us to laugh at ourselves and more importantly laugh at our politicians.” More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Colin McCahon's 'on Going Out With The Tide'

Curated by Wystan Curnow and Robert Leonard, On Going Out with the Tide features major works that have been assembled from public and private collections across New Zealand and Australia. It focusses on McCahon’s evolving engagement with Māori subjects and themes, ranging from early treatments of koru imagery to later history paintings which refer to Māori prophets and investigate land-rights issues. More>>

Howard Davis: Rodger Fox Gets Out The Funk

By now a living New Zealand legend, band leader and trombonist Rodger Fox has performed with some of the biggest names in the jazz business, including Louie Bellson, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley, Randy Crawford, Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Paulson, Diane Schuur, Arturo Sandoval, David Clayton-Thomas, and Joe Williams, to name only a few. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news