SeaWorld’s breeding program and educational presentations for Caribbean flamingos are important now more than ever, as their wild counterparts in South America and the Caribbean are being threatened by human activity. Out of the 35,000 animals that SeaWorld has rescued in its 55-year history (a milestone reached just this week), the majority are birds. Ocean debris that washes ashore is a huge threat to their survival.
◦ Flamingo egg incubation, which lasts about 28 days, begins soon after the egg is laid.
◦ Both the male and female take turns incubating the egg by sitting on top of the nest mound.
◦ Once hatched, both parents feed the chick by producing a secretion called “crop milk.”
◦ Newly-hatched chicks have gray or white down feathers. Chicks lose their juvenile gray or white color gradually over a two– or three–year period, at which time their pink feathers begin to show.
▪ The pink coloration comes from the carotenoid proteins in their diet.
◦ While most people will just call them a flock, the technical term for a group of flamingos is a Flamboyance of Flamingos, due to their bright pink color.