Six Flamingo Chicks and Counting at Tampa’s Lowry Park ZooAug 26, 2011
TAMPA, Fla. (August 26, 2011) – The flock of greater flamingos at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has had a productive summer. About a dozen females laid eggs in recent months, which began to hatch in late July. To date, six chicks have successfully “pipped” with several more females still on the nest. These chicks represent the first hatchlings of this species at the Zoo.
The greater flamingo is the largest member of the flamingo family, standing up to five feet tall. Chicks weigh just 2-3 ounces when hatched, and are covered with soft white or grey downy feathers for a year or sometimes longer. Once the young birds leave the nest, at about three weeks of age, they herd together in groups called “crèches.”
These beautiful birds are found in habitats such as marshes and estuaries on several continents including Africa, Asia and Europe. The greater flamingo has a distinctive black-tipped bill that curves downward, which helps the animal feed on small organisms like plankton. They live in groups called flocks or “stands,” which can number from just a few to thousands. Feathers are pink due to the colored materials (carotenoids) found in the shrimp on which they feed.
The Zoo’s greater flamingo flock of more than 30 adult birds and the new hatchlings nest in the North Lake aviary within the Ituri Forest exhibit area. They share the giant free-flight aviary with great white pelicans, African shoebill storks (parents of the first chick hatched in North America), yellow-billed storks and white-breasted cormorants.
About Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and has been named the No. 1 zoo in America by both Parents magazine (2009) and Child magazine (2004). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with extended hours on select nights during special events. Zoo daytime admission prices are: adult - $23.95, seniors (60+) - $21.95, children ages 3-11 - $18.95, and children 2 and under are free. Daytime admission is value-priced toinclude unlimited amusement rides. Parking is free. For more information, visit LowryParkZoo.com. Also find the Zoo on Facebook.
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