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The ABQ BioPark’s Bird Care Team Welcomed an American Flamingo Chick

Fabulous news for the flamboyance of flamingos!
July 09, 2024


Flamingo Island is the first habitat guests see after entering the gates. The ABQ BioPark’s iconic “welcoming committee” has grown by one!

Mini and Moose, both 21 years old, are a valuable breeding pair in the American Flamingo Species Survival Plan (SSP) due to their genetics not being well-represented. They both came to the BioPark from a facility in Miami in 2003, and although they have courted through many seasons, this chick is the first confirmed offspring for the pair. Mini laid a single egg, which is typical, at the end of May. After a textbook period of about 28 days, the chick successfully hatched in a specialized incubator on June 28, 2024 and is being hand-reared by our expert bird care team. So, what does it take to raise a flamingo chick? 


It starts with patience! The team uses pencil lines on the shell to track the bubble of air inside the shell which expands leading up to the internal pip, or piercing of the internal membrane by the chick, to make room for the chick to begin breathing air. After this internal pip, hatching is usually completed within 48 hours and the team knows to keep a close eye! Soon after hatching, the new little one gets checked out by our dedicated veterinarian staff. The team carefully cleans the umbilicus to prevent infection, takes the chick’s initial weight, and assesses that they are showing appropriate strength and hydration. Then begins the ongoing mission of scheduled feedings and keeping the chick at the perfect temperature in between meals with use of a brooder.

But perhaps the most fun part of raising a baby flamingo? Helping them practice using those looooong legs! As they get stronger and stronger, you may soon catch sight of our bird care team out in the park giving the young chick a chance to explore until they are big enough to be with the rest of the flock in their habitat.