Birdland’s flock of greater flamingos has nearly doubled in size overnight with the arrival of no fewer than 14 new birds.
The new additions, which have arrived from Slimbridge, means the Bourton-on-the-Water wildlife attraction now has a total of 36 greater flamingos – with 18 males and 18 females.
It is hoped the newcomers will encourage the existing birds to start breeding as larger flocks are known to result in an increased number of eggs being successfully hatched.
The greater flamingo is the most widespread and largest member of the flamingo family. Fully grown adult male birds can grow in excess of 180 cm tall.
In the wild flamingos eat small crustaceans and other microscopic animals and plants which are obtained by filter feeding.
When adult, the continuously-moving beak acts as an efficient filter for food collection when water is pumped through the bristles of the mouth.
The typical lifespan for the bird in captivity is an astonishing 60 years and one individual at an Australian Zoo lived to be 83.
Visitors can enjoy close encounters with the super flock from a newly-constructed viewing hut which forms part of Birdland’s new ‘Out of Africa’ display area featuring a host of exotic African bird species.
The African area includes a total of nine aviaries; six of which have been newly constructed to showcase the huge variety of birds found on the continent.
Among the new species on display are a flock of black-cheeked lovebirds and a colony of village weavers; famous for their extraordinary nest-building prowess.
Other birds include touracos, starlings, guinea fowl and exotic ducks and the feature also incorporates African hornbills.
With its combination of woodland, riverside and gardens, Birdland features more than 500 birds, ranging from birds of prey and parrots to cassowaries and cranes in a mix of free-flying and aviary displays.