Cute baby flamingos a hit at Vienna Zoo
The Local · 24 May 2016, 09:44
Published: 24 May 2016 09:44 GMT+02:00
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Flamingos have a grey down when they are hatched, and white feathers when they are young, and only gain their pink colouring as they get older. They also need to make sure that they eat seafood with the pink colouring being provided by the shells of shrimps and crustaceans.
As it is not possible to easily feed them a natural diet in captivity, dieticians have created a special feed that contains the necessary elements to allow the flamingos to gain their pink colouring.
Director of Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna Dagmar Schratter said that there were also other eggs which they were expecting to hatch soon that will further boost the zoo's flamingo population.
She said that the grey downy cover helps to protect them in their natural habitat by allowing them to blend in with their surroundings, and will only turn pink aged around three years.
The director added: "We have been breeding flamingos for years and have a lot of experience now. The eggs are laid in a nest that is made out of mud, and then lined with feathers to keep them warm. When the chicks are old enough, they leave the nest and are looked after by the parent birds until they get older.
"One of the unusual things about the flamingos is the beak, which is specifically designed to filter out the tiny crabs and other things that they eat, although in the young birds this is not developed, and so they have to be fed by their parents for quite a while."
Story courtesy of Central European News