Two baby flamingos have been ruffling feathers after becoming the first of their kind to be hatched at a Lancashire wildlife centre in six years.
The first Chilean flamingo chick hatched six days ago at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.
Although staff at the centre can’t be sure exactly when, another chick was hatched in the last couple of days and another three are expected to be born in the coming days and weeks.
Usually Chilean flamingos lay their eggs much later in the season. Being born late can cause complications, as with shortening day lengths, cold weather and lack of sunlight, the chicks often do not survive.
However, the recent warm ensured the flamingos laid their eggs early and staff at the centre are confident that they will successfully rear them this year.
Nick Brooks, centre manage, said: “Generally when the first egg is laid the rest of the flock takes note and gets busy laying so it is really good news and means we have a number of chicks all around the same age to form a crèche.
“With these nice long days the chicks have lots of time to get big strong and healthy before winter sets in. We are pleased the weather has spurred them on to lay so early and, despite a cold spring, it has turned into a very good breeding season.”
The flamingo chicks are parent reared because adult flamingos produce a special crop milk to feed their babies on.
The fluffy chicks grow very quickly (up to 2cm a day) and they are fully-fledged by the age of three months.
They are usually grey or white in colouring. It takes approximately two to three years to obtain full pink plumage.
For more information about WWT Martin Mere go online to www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere