Flamingo chick hatches in Scotland for first time this year

Bird Gardens Scotland welcomed the 'flamingling' into the world on Friday.

Flamingo: The chick hatched on Friday. <strong>SWNS</strong>
Flamingo: The chick hatched on Friday. SWNS

A flamingo chick has hatched in Scotland for the first time this year.

Bird Gardens Scotland, in Oxton in the Scottish Borders, welcomed the “flamingling” into the world on Friday.

The bird, which is yet to be sexed, weighed just 52g.

It was soon given its first meal through an improvised feeder – made out of a pipette and syringe – filled with a ‘crop milk’ formula.

ADVERT

The feeder mimics an adult flamingo feeding beak-to-beak.

Future: Bird Gardens Scotland hope to replenish ageing flocks. SWNS

Owen Joiner, a director at Bird Gardens Scotland, said: “It’s the only one at the moment in Scotland.

“A second flamingling has also hatched and they’ll soon be followed by another nine.

“We dribble fed it with a rich ‘saliva’.

ADVERT

“We mimic that with sardines, egg yolk, baby porridge and some other vitamins and minerals.”

The centre, which is also home to geese, swans, ducks, pheasants, lovebirds and other domestic and wild birds, is seeking to build up a flock of 60 flamingos and will continue breeding for the next five to six years.

Flamingos start breeding from between five and six years old and reach adulthood at 18 months old.

In the wild they live on a diet of shrimps, algae and crustaceans, and can live to an astonishing age of 60 in captivity.

Chick: The little flamingo was just 52g. SWNS

In the future the gardens is also hoping to help other bird centres by donating chicks to help replenish ageing flocks.

Mr Joiner said: “I hand-reared some youngsters and introduced them to the flock in the spring.

“It gave them a false sense of achievement and filled them with confidence, which can encourage a flock to breed.

ADVERT

“Edinburgh Zoo has some but they’ve not bred in a while.

“We would like to help out other institutions.”


You're up to date

You've read today's top stories. Where would you like to go next?