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Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 11:16 UK
Zoo is tickled pink by new chicks
Flamingo and chicks at Bristol Zoo
Flamingos have a habit of knocking eggs off their nests

Four flamingo chicks have been hatched at Bristol Zoo - but they look nothing like their parents!

The small, fluffy grey birds will only start to develop pink plumage at about two years old and will resemble adult greater flamingos when they are four.

It is the first time the flock has reared chicks since 2003 and these new arrivals boost the total to 32 birds.

Zoo keepers spent the past few months trying to ensure the eggs had the best possible chance of hatching.

Incubators

Overseer of birds, Kate Atwell, explained: "Flamingos have a habit of knocking eggs off their nests which can cause them to break or go cold.

"To prevent this, we removed some of the eggs and set them in incubators, replacing them with wooden eggs on the nests.

"Once the eggs were almost ready to hatch, we put them back onto the nests so the parents could call to the chicks, see them hatch and bond with them straight away."

Now the flamingos are being left alone to ensure the adults do not abandon the chicks, which could happen if they are disturbed too much.

"The chicks are doing really well," added Kate.

"They are hardy little things and endure being stepped on by their parents and pecked at by the other birds around them!"




SEE ALSO
Baby flamingoes 'scared of pink'
18 Jun 09 |  London
Keepers await flamingo hatching
23 Jul 09 |  Bradford

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