Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Proud Mother Jen

For the first time in the history of Como Zoo, we have a flamingo chick! Como's bird keeper, Jen, has worked diligently for the past several years, trying to create the optimal conditions needed for egg laying and chick rearing. This year was a success! Three Chilean flamingos laid an egg each which was swapped out with a false egg so the real eggs could be put in an incubator to ensure they were not accidently stepped on or broken. Two turned out to be infertile, but one was fertile and a careful watch began waiting for it to hatch. After a 28 day incubation period, the time had come. Keepers were able to hear the chick calling from within the egg and feel the movement of it trying to escape the shell. The dummy egg was replaced by the now hatching egg to allow the parent flamingos to start bonding with their baby. Early Thursday morning when zookeepers got to work for the day, they got their first glimpse of the small white chick from under the wing of the father flamingo. The first time parents have been doing an amazing job, feeding crop "milk" to the chick and keeping it warm. Now that it has started to stand and wander around the nest, the two adults are kept busy following the chick as it checks out the wide world around. The chick will continue to get braver and wander the bird exhibit more, but the parents will maintain a constant vigil. Stop by the bird yard and see the little cutie. The zookeepers are very proud of the successful hatch and have hopes of more in the future. Jen is definitely the mother hen of the bird exhibit and her hard work has paid off.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Way to go Jen!!!