Greater flamingo chick finds his feet at Bristol Zoo Gardens

One of seven great flamingo chicks has found his feet.

He’s got some way to go before he is as big or as bright as the grown-ups in his colony.

But he will get there eventually - although it will take him a few years.

He is a greater flamingo chick, one of seven which hatched at Bristol Zoo Gardens this summer.

When he first emerged from his shell he was, like all flamingo chicks, a fluffy bundle of grey feathers and stubbly pink legs and he was small enough to fit comfortably into the palm of a keeper’s hand.

Within a few days he was walking around and his grey fluffy feathers began to turn to proper feathers. His legs then started to turn darker.

Then he began the long process of growing up and changing to a more recognisable colour.

His feathers have already started to lighten and will soon begin to take on that famous pink colouring.

And by the time he is fully grown his legs will turn pink again.

For now though he has to content himself with learning how to wade in the water even if his legs are short.

It’s not as easy as it looks particularly when there is a strong wind blowing through the enclosure he shares with the colony of 65 other flamingos.

But like the other six arrivals this summer he will learn from watching the grown-up flamingos all around him.

Bristol Zoo has one of the most successful flamingo colonies in the country.

Trevor Franks, Bristol Zoo’s team leader of birds, said: “Some places in the United Kingdom struggle to breed them but we have a thriving colony here. But that has taken a lot of work over many years.”

Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.

For more information about visiting Bristol Zoo Gardens, visit the website at www.bristolzoo.org.uk or phone 0117 974 7300.

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