Successful year for breeding flamingos at Edinburgh Zoo

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By Amanda MacMillan

EDINBURGH Zoo has been causing a stir among visitors as it welcomes three new fluffy additions.

The pale grey Chilean flamingo chicks have hatched in what has been a great breeding season at the zoo.

This is the second consecutive year that successful breeding has taken place for the flamingos.

Nick Dowling, keeper on the Bird Section at Edinburgh Zoo, said that breeding has been encouraged by improvements to their enclosure.

He added: “We are delighted that for a second year in a row our Chilean flamingos have bred.

“For us it is confirmation that the improvements we have made to their enclosure have really made a difference.

“The one thing we can’t control is the weather and while the warm, wet conditions we have experienced this summer may not be favoured by everyone it may have benefited the flamingos.

“From previous observations a wet period followed by sunshine appears to stimulate courtship and breeding behaviours in the birds.””

The chicks began to hatch on 7 August and won’t get their distinctive pink plumes until they are a year old.

The first Chilean flamingo chick to hatch at Edinburgh Zoo was in 1979 but the next year of breeding success wasn’t until 1997 when three chicks hatched.

This was followed by one in 2004, another four in 2006 and eight in 2009.

With two eggs still likely to hatch, keepers hope that the number will increase, as more eggs could be laid up until October.

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