Flamingo chicks at Washington Wetland Centre join flock

Flamingo chicks The five chicks, Frankie, Nico, Fran, Phil and Flo, will join the adults after eight months of human care

Related Stories

Five flamingo chicks have joined a flock of their fellow birds, after being hand-reared at a Wearside wildlife reserve.

The Chilean birds have been introduced to the adult group at the Washington Wetland Centre after eight months of human care.

The chicks were brought in after the flock consistently failed to breed.

It is hoped they will give the adults a "false sense of achievement" and encourage them to produce young.

They arrived as eggs in September from the Gloucestershire headquarters of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT), which runs the Washington centre.

Aviculture manager Owen Joiner fed the chicks with a mixture of baby porridge, sardines and egg yolks to mimic a flamingo's "rich saliva".

"Hand rearing flamingos is a delicate matter," he said.

Mr Joiner also supervised "sunbathing sessions" when the weather was warm enough, to make sure they got enough vitamin D.

The chicks are now nearly 4ft (1.2m) tall and weigh an average of 8lb (3.5kg).

Mr Joiner said the adults had failed to breed for the fifth season in a row last year, despite "displaying, flirting, mating and nest-building".

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tyne & Wear

Weather

Newcastle upon Tyne

14 °C 11 °C

Features

  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?


  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900-year-story behind the creation of a UK parliament


  • Image of Ankor Wat using lidarJungle Atlantis

    How lasers have revealed an ancient city beneath the forest


  • TigerBard taste? Watch

    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?


  • Tesco signBest before?

    Has Tesco passed its sell-by date, asks Richard Anderson


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.