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Memphis Zoo Celebrates Hatching of Flamingo Chicks

MEMPHIS, TENN. – The Memphis Zoo is excited to announce the hatching of two Chilean flamingo chicks.  The chicks, whose sex has not been determined, hatched on August 7 and August 20.   They are the first chicks to be reared at the Memphis Zoo since 2008. Visitors will be able to see the chicks and the entire flock in the Round Barn.   


Photo: Memphis Zoo/Sara Taylor

The eggs were artificially incubated in the Zoo hatchery and returned to their parents when the chicks started vocalizing and pipping the outer shell.    

“These are significant hatchings for the Memphis Zoo,” said Carol Hesch, assistant curator.  “We are excited over the flamingo babies after an absence of seven years.  It is a boost to the genetic viability and sustainability of the captive Chilean Flamingo population.”   


Photo: Memphis Zoo/Sara Taylor

The father of the older chick is 36+ years old and came to the Memphis Zoo in 1981 from the Oklahoma City Zoo.  The mother is 34+ years old and came to the Zoo from the Jacksonville Zoo in 1996.  This is a proven pair who has successfully reared three of their own chicks and foster reared a chick in 2008.  Their three offspring and one foster are all still surviving and living at the Memphis Zoo.   

The father of the younger chick was the last flamingo hatched and reared at the Memphis Zoo in 2008.  He is seven years old and this is his first chick.   The mother came to the Zoo in 2000 along with 9 other birds from Caldwell Zoo.  She is 16 years old.  She has reared a previous chick in 2008 with a different mate.   

The flamingo flock at the Memphis Zoo now consists of 16 males, 14 females and two chicks.           

 About flamingos 

  • The word flamingo is derived from the Latin word ‘flamma’ meaning ‘a flame’.
  • Flamingos can stand up to four feet tall.
  • Flamingos sleep and rest on one leg to conserve energy and maintain their body temperature.
  • What appears to be the bird’s knee in the center of its leg is actually its ankle. This joint bends backwards rather than forward.
  • At hatching, a flamingo chick’s feathers are gray in color, but will turn pink within two to three years due to algae and other foods they consume. Flamingos can live up to 50 years. 
Posted by Zoo Info at 12:46 PM

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