A colourful addition: First chicks hatch to flamingo families at the Moscow Zoo

A colourful addition: First chicks hatch to flamingo families at the Moscow Zoo
Four newly-hatched chicks can be seen on the Great Pond today. More are expected in the near future.

The first four chicks were born to red (Cuban) and pink flamingos at the Moscow Zoo. Visitors can see them on the Great Pond now. More young flamingos are expected to arrive soon.

Visitors could observe the flamingos’ mating season from the end of April. The males showed special activity − they spread their wings, ruffled their feathers, and swayed their graceful necks, while pacing in front of the females. In addition, they cawed loudly to get noticed in the crowd of rivals.

Although the chicks already leave their nests and walk around the enclosure, they behave rather timidly. The adult flamingos are attentive to them − they continually bend over to the kids to examine them.

Flamingos usually lay one or two large eggs. Parents take turns incubating their future offspring for a month. It is interesting that both the male and the female participate in this process: while one of the birds is sitting on the nest, the other is feeding.

Flamingo chicks are born with a straight beak, but after two or three weeks it begins to bend and acquires the shape characteristic for this species. The chicks cannot make loud and shrill sounds.

The newborn flamingos are covered with greyish fuzz and do not at all resemble adult birds – majestic, with bright plumage. They will look like those only after two years and after several moults. At the age of four or five years, flamingos begin to form couples and hatch chicks.

By the end of the year, rare Madagascar fossa cats will arrive at the zoo, and a secretary bird will be added for the first time in 30 years. Among the new inhabitants of the zoo are two Amur tigers that appeared this summer.