The flamingos youngsters that hatched in June and July of 2017 are finally big enough to join the adult flock of flamingos on the lake! The five youngsters stand out from the adults with their gray feathers mixed in with the pink. It will take another year or more until they are the full stunning pink of an adult.
The young birds, who were hand-raised to improve their chances of survival, started spending time in the “howdy pen” at the lake over the last two months to get used to the area, meet their neighbors and learn from the adult flamingos.
Another way they prepared for the big move was swimming lessons! To help them navigate the deeper waters of the lake, animal care staff introduced them to a small pool where they practiced swimming and floating to help with the transition to open waters.
They are now integrated into the flock but can usually be found near one another. If you are looking for your favorite youngster, look for their yellow band numbers listed below!
- Tiki: right leg, 69
- Blue Hawaiian: right leg, 74
- Margarita: left leg, 75
- Daquari: right leg, 72
- Mai Tai: left leg, 71
The Sacramento Zoo is home to 36 adult Caribbean (or American) flamingos. The last time a flamingo egg was laid and then successfully hatched at the zoo was in 1999. Prior to the last year’s hatchings, the zoo has hatched 28 flamingos in its 90-year history and has housed Carribean flamingos since 1966. One of the original eight flamingos that arrived in 1966 still resides on the zoo’s lake.
Caribbean flamingos are the brightest-colored and one of the largest of six species of flamingos and is native to South America and the Caribbean with a small population in the Galapagos. The birds’ pink coloration comes from pigments in the aquatic organisms that they eat.
To see more photos and videos visit the Flamingo Chick webpage.