Flamingo Chicks

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Flamingo Chicks Hatched

The flamingo chicks that hatched between June 28 and July 30, 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 eggs were collected from the flock as they were laid and artificially incubated to ensure hatching success.  They have been hand-reared behind-the-scenes by the zoo’s dedicated veterinary and animal care teams. Around-the-clock care for the chicks includes feedings, health checks, growth monitoring and regular exercise such as daily walks to strengthen their delicate legs.

The youngsters started spending time in the “howdy pen” at the lake over in early 2018 to get used to 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

First Since 1999
The Sacramento Zoo is home to 36 adult American flamingos. The last time a flamingo egg was laid and then successfully hatched at the zoo was in 1999. Prior to the recent hatchings, the zoo has hatched 28 flamingos in its 90-year history and has housed American flamingos since 1966. One of the original eight flamingos that arrived in 1966 still resides on the zoo’s lake.

American flamingos, also known as 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. Although adult flamingos are pink, the chicks hatch with white down that change to grey feathering prior to their adult coloration coming in after a couple of years. The birds’ pink coloration comes from pigments in the aquatic organisms that they eat.

Flamingo Chick FAQs

Flamingo Chick Care update

February 1, 2018
The flamingo youngsters are now spending time at the lake each day.


October 4, 2017
You can see the zookeepers training the chicks to “station” (come to and stand on a small towel).

August 17, 2017
In the video below you can see the chicks coming out to meet the visitors! They have grown a lot in a short time.

July 27, 2017
In the video below you can see the younger chicks at first then the older chick in his pool eating solid food, playing with his stick and learning to take a bath.


Flamingos on the Lake

Flamingo Chick
Flamingo Chick


Flamingo Swim Lessons

Flamingo Chick January 2018

Flamingo Chick

Flamingo Chick
Flamingo Chick


Flamingo Youngster

Flamingo Chick December 2017

Flamingo Chick

Flamingo Chick
Flamingo Chick



Flamingo chick Tiki

Flamingo chick Mai Tai

Flamingo chick Daiquiri

Flamingo chick Bellini

Flamingo chick Blue Hawaiian

Flamingo chick Margarita

Snow leopard cub Coconut 

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