For the first time in history, a baby pink flamingo was born in Monaco’s Animal Garden. The little bundle of joy hatched in June and is adapting nicely to life on the Rock.
“A big first! Some of you may have already seen it during your visit, a small grey ball of fluff with a pointy beak. This is a great first for the Garden, the birth of a little Pink Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)!” said the park on social media.
Flamingos are very social animals and generally reproduce when they are in large colonies, and generally after the age of six. The park’s group of flamingos was made up of twelve individuals aged three to six, so reproduction was not expected. But at the end of April, the group began to show signs of courtship and started making nest outlines.
“We immediately provided them with the necessary nesting materials and several nests were quickly created. 15 days later, the first egg was laid. The new baby is a great joy and a source of great pride for the park team,” said the park on social media.
New horizons for the protected Scarlet Ibis, born in the park last year
A pink flamingo was not the only new addition to the park this summer. Three white faced whistling ducks (Dendrocygna viduata) were born shortly after the pink flamingo. At the beginning of the summer, a bronze-winged duck (Speculanas specularis) was also born in the Animal Garden, one of the rare European zoological parks to house this particular species.
In 2021, the park saw the birth of a magnificent protected bird, the Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber). As part of the park’s exchanges between zoological parks and the conservation of endangered species, eight Scarlet Ibis have recently moved to two other parks. Four are now living in Morocco, while the other four are now part of the Exotic Park in Lescar, France.
Why are baby flamingos grey and not pink?
The signature bright plumage of pink flamingos is not a hereditary trait, as can be seen by the park’s new addition: flamingos are born with grey feathers. The bright pink colour of flamingos comes from their diet. Beta-carotene, a red-orange pigment, is found in the algae and brine shrimp that flamingos eat. After one or two years of this highly pigmented diet, the baby flamingo will start showing its pink feathers.
Overlooking the Port of Fontvieille, the Animal Garden is home to over three hundred animals from around sixty different species. Founded by Prince Rainier III in 1954, the park is different from most zoos because all the animals were either abandoned, recovered following customs seizures, or received through exchanges with other parks.