Flamingos at WWT Slimbridge
“Flamingo Lagoon” opened at WWT Slimbridge in July 2012 and it is home to around 200 greater flamingos, a species held by WWT since flamingos were first brought to Slimbridge in 1961. The capacity of this new enclosure is 500 birds and it is hoped that, eventually, enough will be bred to meet this number and to then provide one of the largest flamingo flocks held by a bird collection anywhere in the world. Greater flamingos are the first species to start breeding at Slimbridge; courtship display commences just after Christmas and the first nests and eggs begin appearing around March/April time. Having missed breeding in 2013 due to their move into their new home, the birds have entered the 2014 season with gusto (see youtube link). This year they have reared 40 chicks, which is a real success story and really highlights how settled the birds are in their new home. The crèche of flamingo chicks, as seen in the photo, is a protective behaviour that keeps the chicks safe from harm (minded by a few babysitters) whilst their parents go off to bathe and feed. As flamingo parents feed their chicks directly with a crop milk, they can certainly do with the rest! (Paul Rose, PhD Student, WWT Slimbridge) You can also see more at the WWT Slimbridge Diary.