Greater flamingos at Birdland in Gloucestershire are aiming to hatch no fewer than nine flamingo eggs in the coming weeks, after laying for the first time in more than eight years.
Keepers at the Bourton-on-the-Water wildlife attraction believe the recent spell of settled, warm weather has provided near-perfect breeding conditions for the flamboyant birds.
The park has been closed to the public since March, however the lack of visitors hasn’t prevented a mini egg-laying spree among the flock of flamingos with nine nesting pairs each currently looking after a single egg.
“Both parents take it in turns to sit on the nests and this year we have created a series of artificial nesting spots made out of concrete on an island in the middle of the lake,” said Head Keeper Alistair Keen.
“Whether it’s those new nests, the settled weather or a combination of the two we’re not sure but we’re delighted with the outcome, whatever the reason.
“The usual incubation period for greater flamingos is about a month so we’re hoping to see them start to hatch out in the coming days or weeks,” he added.
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.
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.
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. It is also home to England’s only colony of breeding king penguins. Birdland is home to 36 Greater Flamingos.
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