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

 

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

EPMU: Fourth Pike River Anniversary

Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. More>>

ALSO:

'Kindara': Unusual Ginger Coloured Kiwi Chick Released To Taupo Creche

A cute little kiwi chick with an unusual ginger tinge to its feathers has just been released to Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary Kiwi Creche in Taupo after hatching at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter. More>>

Werewolf: The Complicatist : Bob Dylan Himself, And By Others

Bob Dylan is about to release a six CD version of the entire Basement Tapes sessions he recorded with the Band 40 years ago. To mark the occasion, I’ve rustled together some favourite cover versions of Dylan songs, and a few lesser-known tracks by the great man. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gone Girl : The Trouble With Amy

Philip Matthews: Three words to describe the David Fincher film Gone Girl: cynical, topical and ridiculous. Ridiculous isn’t a negative. More>>

ALSO:

11/11: Armistice Day Peace Vigils

On Armistice Day 2014, the second in the series of peace vigils that will take place three times each year during the World War One centenary will be held in Hokianga, Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Otaki, Lower Hutt, Wellington and Takaka. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news