Feb 11 2009
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of winter. Just for once I’d like to observe birds without having to wear a coat, hat and gloves. And while I’m wishing, I’d like to see young birds for a change.
OnQ’s Tonia Caruso did just that when she visited the National Aviary’s Wetland Room last month. Not only was it delightfully warm but she got to see three young American flamingos who just graduated from “day care” to the Wetlands Room.
Sweetums, Piggy and Beaker hatched in late June and early July from eggs provided by other zoos. Though there are five adult flamingos at the Aviary the babies are not theirs because flamingos won’t breed unless they are living in a large group. The Aviary’s Erin Estell tells me that some zoos put mirrors around their flamingos. This makes them think they’re in a larger group and prompts the couples to mate and nest.
These baby flamingos were incubated and raised by hand. Cute and fluffy back in August, they’re now tall and partially pink. (Click on the baby picture to see them now.) If all goes well some day they’ll have roles in the indoor bird show theater, breaking ground in April.
To see them from the comfort of your living room, don’t miss WQED’s OnQ on Thursday February 12 at 7:30pm.
Or visit the National Aviary and go birding where it’s warm - without leaving town!
(photo of young American flamingo from the National Aviary)