Two more flamingo chicks are now on display at the Woodland Park Zoo. The first chick hatched on Oct. 3 and the second one on Oct. 9.
(Photo by Dennis Dow, Woodland Park Zoo)
Both parents care for their chick, feeding them “crop milk,” a dark red secretion produced in their upper digestive tract. The substance is nutritionally similar to milk that is produced by mammals. The chicks leave their nest about three to five days after hatching but remain in close proximity to their parents for feedings and brooding.
Three more eggs are expected to hatch later in the month. Last year’s flock produced three chicks, which were hand-raised by the zoo’s team of expert staff before being introduced to the colony.
Flamingo chicks hatch with a whitish, gray down and can acquire extensive pink feathering that can be mixed with gray-brown contour feathers at about 1 year of age. Juveniles usually have full pink feathering by 2 to 3 years of age. These hardy, social birds of South America stand an impressive 40 to 42 inches tall.