Lincoln Park Zoo Hatches First-Ever Chilean Flamingo

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CHICAGO - Lincoln Park Zoo is thrilled to announce the hatching of the first-ever successful Chilean flamingo, born Sept. 11.

The flamingo chick is a first for Lincoln Park Zoo and the zoo is cautiously optimistic several remaining incubating eggs may hatch within the coming weeks.

“We are absolutely elated to welcome our first Chilean flamingo chick,” said Curator of Birds Sunny Nelson. “As a first hatching for Lincoln Park Zoo and for the flock, the chick is currently raised behind-the-scenes and will be re-introduced to the flock once the chick is more independent.”

The sex of the first-born chick has yet to be determined but shell fragments have been collected and will be sent for DNA testing as a non-invasive method of determining gender. While a Chilean flamingo can weigh up to 3.5kg, the chick was 95g at hatch, roughly the weight of a bar of soap.

The flock at the zoo had breeding recommendations as part of the Chilean Flamingo Species Survival Plan, which cooperatively manages the accredited population. 

Currently, the flamingo chick remains behind-the-scenes receiving around-the-clock care. In the meantime, the flock of adult Chilean flamingos is on exhibit daily at the Waterfowl Lagoon.

Chilean flamingos live in large flocks and are native to Peru, Brazil and Argentina. Like all flamingos, the Chilean species has pink plumage – or feathers – but are born with white-grey plumage and begin to gain the iconic coloration around two-years-old. Reaching up to 40 inches in height, flamingos often stand on one leg, tucking the other beneath its body to preserve body heat.

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