Caribbean flamingo chicks hatch

Caribbean flamingo chicks hatch

New chicks on the block -- Caribbean flamingo chicks recently hatched at the Fort Worth Zoo. As part of the Zoo's ongoing conservation efforts on behalf of the species, the hatching of these chicks will continue to create genetically healthy populations of the Caribbean flamingo, both at the Zoo and in the wild. 

Since 2017, Zoo staff has been dedicated to conservation efforts on behalf of the Caribbean flamingo, traveling to the Bahamas to mark, identify and monitor flocks of Caribbean flamingos. These processes will ultimately help to establish and maintain successful populations of the breed throughout the Caribbean. The hatching of these Caribbean flamingo chicks marks yet another successful breeding initiative by the Fort Worth Zoo as we continue to look forward and progress in conservation efforts on behalf of this beautiful bird. 

The young birds are covered with gray downy-type feathers that turn into pink plumage as the chicks age and mature. You will most likely see them close to their parents or with the other chicks in groups called "creches." 

A few flamingo facts for you

Listen carefully

Flamingo chicks are often raised and reared by both parents. A few days before the hatching, the chick will begin to produce vocalizations. This noise allows the chick to imprint upon its parents, who will recognize the same sound once the chick hatches. This process of imprinting is what allows the flamingo parents to distinguish their chick from the other young hatchlings in the flock. Consequently, the flamingo chick will also be able to recognize its own parents' call -- when called, only the intended chick will respond, even if other chicks are present within hearing range.

Pink, please!

Even though flamingos aren't particularly picky about their diets, the pink pigment that defines the flamingo is achieved by the consumption of crustaceans. The Caribbean flamingo in particular often has a more saturated, darker pink hue that distinguishes it from other subspecies. 

Island Time

The Caribbean flamingo's name comes from its natural habitat, which covers the shoreline around the Caribbean Sea, as well as nearby islands in the Caribbean. However, this flamingo subspecies has also been seen in South America and the southern United States, which is why the Caribbean flamingo is sometimes referred to as the American flamingo.