The first Caribbean flamingo egg for 2012 at WWT Llanelli has been laid! This is about two weeks later than expected, as like many of our other birds the flamingos are breeding late this year. We expect more eggs over the coming days and weeks, and hopefully the pitter patter of tiny flamingo feet in August, following an incubation period of around 30 days.
To protect the egg from being eaten by predators such as black-backed gulls, the egg has been removed from the nest and placed in an incubator in the duckery. However, if flamingos lose their egg, they lay another to replace it, but can only care for one chick each year. To stop them from re-laying, Richard, who looks after all our collection birds, has placed a “dummy egg” in the nest for the parents to look after. Just before the egg is due to hatch he will swap them back, as flamingo parents and chicks start to communicate and bond while the chick is still inside the egg!
Flamingo chicks start off small but grow around 5mm on each leg every day! So if you want to see them while they’re still tiny, your best chance is during the last week of July or first week of August. Families who love flamingos can come along to our flamingo fun days on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August to take part in lots of fun flamingo-themed activities as well as seeing any new chicks (see http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit-us/llanelli/things-to-see-and-do/events-calendar/2012/08/04/flamingo-fun-days/ for more information).
To keep up-to-date with flamingo chick hatchings as they happen, you can like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/wwtllanelli) or follow us on Twitter (@wwtllanelli).