Birmingham Zoo welcomes two baby flamingos

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 3:23 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham Zoo has two new additions! Baron and Pinecone, American Flamingo chicks, hatched this summer.

It’s the first time the flamingos at the zoo have nested and hatched fertilized eggs.

Once flamingos find a mate, they will build a volcano-shaped mud cone as a nest. Flamingo pairs are monogamous; both parents help build the nest, where they lay a single egg that they then take turns incubating for about 28 days.

Baron, who was hatched on June 29, 2022 with fluffy down feathers, is named for the Birmingham Barons who provided the red clay used in their habit.

The next week, another new chick named Pinecone hatched to a separate set of parents. The flamingo chicks will spend the next several months bonding with parents, learning to feed themselves, and growing more independent.

This year’s successful nesting season may be due in part to the donated clay for their habitat. In 2020, the Birmingham Barons, Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, donated infield clay from Regions Field for the Zoo’s newly renovated flamingo habitat. “It’s the mixture of sand with the clay that makes it a perfect consistency for flamingos to build their tall, mound-shaped nests,” according to Tiffani Thompson, the Zoo’s Assistant Curator of Birds. “We were delighted when they began breeding and nesting in the early spring.”

“Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Region’s Field this year, and knowing that we have contributed to the growth of the Zoo’s animal family and conservation efforts, even in the smallest way, is such an honor,” says Jonathan Nelson, Birmingham Baron’s President, and General Manager. “And to have such a fantastic outcome in the successful nesting and two new flamingo hatchlings is the best anniversary present we could hope to receive.”

“We are proud of the long-standing community partnership the Zoo shares with the Birmingham Barons,” says Chris Pfefferkorn, President, and CEO of the Birmingham Zoo. “More than providing the nesting clay, the Barons continually support the conservation of wildlife and wild places by helping the Zoo to fulfill our mission – this strong relationship continues to grow in amazing ways.”

Baron and Pinecone will go through several stages as they grow into adults with long, stilt-like legs and full pink plumage. Having hatched with white down, baby flamingos will turn grey in a few months before turning pink within the first one to two years of life.

Visitors are invited to see Baron and Pinecone now at the Zoo’s flamingo lagoon.

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