Caribbean Flamingo Hatchling Takes First Steps at Bronx Zoo

Caribbean Flamingo and Chick Photo
Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

View the video at:http://youtu.be/Q2lDV0MMrcw


Bronx, NY – Aug. 15, 2012 – ATTACHED PHOTO AND VIDEO: A Caribbean flamingo hatchling takes its first steps at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. The chick is helped to its feet by its mother and stands on a nest mound in the pond outside of the zoo’s Aquatic Birds exhibit.

Flamingos are hatched with white downy plumage but develop trademark pink coloration from pigments in the algae, crustaceans, and other invertebrates that make up their diet. In the wild, these birds inhabit shallow bodies of salty water where food is plentiful.

Flamingos are well adapted for their environment. Their long legs allow them to easily wade across shallow water and their beaks are specially adapted to filter feed, separating food items from the mud and silt. Flamingos build nest mounds in the shallow water to keep their eggs and offspring out of the water until they are ready to fledge.

Earlier in the summer, researchers from WCS’s Bronx Zoo led a coalition of scientists to Inagua National Park in the Bahamas to band juvenile Caribbean flamingos so that their movement could be tracked as they migrate to breeding colonies throughout the Caribbean. The group corralled young birds from a flock of Caribbean flamingos in order to attach leg bands, record body measurements, and conduct brief health assessments. In all, 198 flamingos were banded and released.

Contact:
Max Pulsinelli (718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org)

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:30 p.m. weekends. Adult admission is $16.95, children (3-12 years old) $11.95, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14.95. Parking is $14 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

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