Audubon Zoo welcomes flamingo chick for second year in a row

Audubon Zoo welcomes flamingo chick for second year in a row

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Audubon Zoo's flamingo family has a new addition.

The new hatching, whose gender is not yet known, was born July 4. The Zoo says later on workers will collect feathers from the new chick and send them off for DNA testing to determine the gender. For now, the hatching has been quite animated.

"Flamingo chicks usually spend the first six to eight days after hatching on the nest mound, being fed and incubated by the parents. On day three, this little one had enough of the nest mound and kept jumping out. Despite being returned to the nest several times, the chick kept leaving to explore.  And it has been running around with the parents ever since. It is a very precocious chick,'' Audubon Zoo Curator of Birds Carolyn Atherton said.

The Zoo says the chick arrived almost a year to the day after the birth of two chicks.

Atherton says zoo workers used the same technique this year as they did in 2016. She says the parents of the newborn chick sat atop a fake plaster-filled egg while the real egg was being incubated artificially in the Bird Department. Staffers eventually removed the "dummy" egg and left the real one once it was about to hatch. It's done so that live eggs are not knocked off their nests and broken by the birds that move around a lot.

The new hatching will not get a name. The Zoo says typically staffers do not name any of the more than 90 flamingos in its collection.

Click here to see more pictures and video of the new hatching.

Below are some flamingo facts provided by the Audubon Zoo:
* The American flamingo - sometimes called Caribbean flamingos - is the only member of the species found naturally in North America. The bird is also found in the Caribbean and on the Galapagos islands.

* Audubon Zoo has 40 flamingos in the "Uptown'' flock on the Zoo's entrance plaza and 53 more in the "downtown'' flock in a lagoon near the rear of the Cool Zoo water park.

* The flamingos' pink coloration comes from the high quantities of beta carotene in their diet. Chicks are whitish-grey until the pigment builds up, which can take a year or two.

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