Wild Encounters: New Baby Flamingo

Wild Encounters

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Today on Wild Encounters we’re going behind the scenes at the bird sanctuary and taking a look at their new, baby flamingo.

“Tell us a little bit about…what is the process like raising this baby flamingo?”

Alexandra Broskey, Primary Bird keeper: “It’s a pretty heavy process, but – thankfully – we don’t have to do too much work. Once it hatches, we actually hatch it out in our bird center and we wait until it’s totally dry and we give it back to the parents. This chick actually has foster parents. The biological parents are new, so they weren’t quite ready for a chick. So, we gave him to a pair that is older and much more experienced and they’ve taken care of it since day one.”

“We just saw you walk from where he was at from the bird center all the way over to here. What’s the purpose of this walk all the way out to his fellow flamingo friends?”

Alexandra: “So, we take the chick in every night and that’s just to keep it safe from predators. So, we keep it up there and walk it down every morning and the walk helps it to stretch its legs, stretch it’s wings, and get more confident walking and being around other people, which is us. So, when it is older and it isn’t afraid like a wild bird would be.”

“How long does it take for him to follow you and develop that bond?”

Alexandra: “We kind of build it up on them. We won’t let them walk the whole distance the entire time. We’ll do 10 feet, 20 feet, to 30 feet every day and then once they get more confident in walking, they get more confident in following you until they can walk the whole distance themselves.”

“Everybody’s probably wondering: my little guy is gray right now. How long is it before he turns pink and what makes him turn pink?”

Alexandra: “They’ll start to turn pink at about six months, but they won’t actually get their full color in pink until two years. So, it’s a pretty long process and even at a year, they’ll be a dull color or pink. The reason that it takes so long is because of the keratin in the food that they eat and it takes so long for that keratin to work and make them turn pink and the parents will turn less of a pink color while they’re doing the feeding process and that’s because they give their keratin to the baby.”

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