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Flamboyant Flamingos

on 29th March, 2021
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With the daily dawn chorus and Daffodils flowering in abundance, it really does feel like spring at the Lake District Wildlife Park. Staff are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the usual babies including goat kids, piglets and lambs. It is also a busy time for birds, some of which are already nesting and finding a mate. This year spring has been eagerly awaited by the bird keepers at the Park for a different reason.

It was announced earlier this month, that on Wednesday 31st March restrictions will be lifted in relation to Avian Flu. This is exciting news for the 37 Greater Flamingos housed at the Park. Following the guidance and to help prevent further outbreaks of Avian Flu certain species of bird kept in captivity had to go into lockdown. This was essential for the sake of their own health and that of wild birds. Fortunately, in preparation for the arrival of the Flamingos at the Park in 2019, they were built a specially designed house with heating and ample living space.

Being “cooped up” has been tough for many of us, but it for the birds it is nearly over. We can safely say that our Flamingos have remained fit and healthy, but their Keepers have started to notice them getting twitchy! Greater Flamingos have flamboyant courtship displays, which involves lots of flapping, honking and parading. Their plumage at this time of year is a bright, deep pink and the males flash their wings at the females. The more vibrant the pink, the more it helps to attract a mate.

There are many courtship rituals performed by Flamingos and they are a great sight to watch. Courtship dancing in Flamingos has been scientifically studied for years. A study in the Camargue in France discovered that they perform up to 136 different dance moves! They also perform group marching, lifting their longs legs high and stamping their big feet in unison. Head flagging involves moving their large head and bill from side to side.

After a successful courtship display, pair bonding begins, and Flamingos usually remain monogamous, therefore faithful to the same bird for the rest of the season. Nest building is seen to humans as a fun activity as it is essentially making mud pies. The birds scoop up mud and sticks into a mound, with a scoop in the top where the eggs are laid.

Staff at the Lake District Wildlife Park are eagerly awaiting the day of the release of these magnificent birds and for dating and mating to commence. The Flamingos are still reasonably young, but each year staff watch and wait to see if any eggs are laid. It is unlikely there will be any eggs in time for Easter, but if we do get some staff will be over the moon!

To encourage our Flamingos along, the Park will be celebrating Easter as usual. The golden egg treasure hunt will be running in the open air in a safe manner, from when the Park opens on the 12th April.  All is required is to look carefully to spot the golden eggs, whilst looking at the animals…that is if you can manage to take your eyes off our animals that you haven’t seen for so long!

For more details about Easter fun at the Park please visit our website and social media feeds.

 

With the daily dawn chorus and Daffodils flowering in abundance, it really does feel like spring at the Lake District Wildlife Park. Staff are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the usual babies including goat kids, piglets and lambs. It is also a busy time for birds, some of which are already nesting and finding a mate. This year spring has been eagerly awaited by the bird keepers at the Park for a different reason.

It was announced earlier this month, that on Wednesday 31st March restrictions will be lifted in relation to Avian Flu. This is exciting news for the 37 Greater Flamingos housed at the Park. Following the guidance and to help prevent further outbreaks of Avian Flu certain species of bird kept in captivity had to go into lockdown. This was essential for the sake of their own health and that of wild birds. Fortunately, in preparation for the arrival of the Flamingos at the Park in 2019, they were built a specially designed house with heating and ample living space.

Being “cooped up” has been tough for many of us, but it for the birds it is nearly over. We can safely say that our Flamingos have remained fit and healthy, but their Keepers have started to notice them getting twitchy! Greater Flamingos have flamboyant courtship displays, which involves lots of flapping, honking and parading. Their plumage at this time of year is a bright, deep pink and the males flash their wings at the females. The more vibrant the pink, the more it helps to attract a mate.

There are many courtship rituals performed by Flamingos and they are a great sight to watch. Courtship dancing in Flamingos has been scientifically studied for years. A study in the Camargue in France discovered that they perform up to 136 different dance moves! They also perform group marching, lifting their longs legs high and stamping their big feet in unison. Head flagging involves moving their large head and bill from side to side.

After a successful courtship display, pair bonding begins, and Flamingos usually remain monogamous, therefore faithful to the same bird for the rest of the season. Nest building is seen to humans as a fun activity as it is essentially making mud pies. The birds scoop up mud and sticks into a mound, with a scoop in the top where the eggs are laid.

Staff at the Lake District Wildlife Park are eagerly awaiting the day of the release of these magnificent birds and for dating and mating to commence. The Flamingos are still reasonably young, but each year staff watch and wait to see if any eggs are laid. It is unlikely there will be any eggs in time for Easter, but if we do get some staff will be over the moon!

To encourage our Flamingos along, the Park will be celebrating Easter as usual. The golden egg treasure hunt will be running in the open air in a safe manner, from when the Park opens on the 12th April.  All is required is to look carefully to spot the golden eggs, whilst looking at the animals…that is if you can manage to take your eyes off our animals that you haven’t seen for so long!

 

 

 

 

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