Chilean flamingo chick hatches at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre

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Chilean flamingo chick hatches at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre has successfully hatched a Chilean flamingo chick for the first time in 6 years as a result of the hot weather over the summer.

The chick, now just 6 days old, is doing well and starting to come off the nest site. One other chick has hatched in the last couple of days and the centre is expecting another 3 to hatch.

Usually, the Chilean flamingos lay their eggs much later in the season. Being born late can cause complications as with the shortening day lengths, cold weather and lack of sunlight, the chicks often fail to grow properly and unfortunately often do not survive.  The hot weather we have been experiencing ensured that the flamingos laid their eggs early and staff at the centre are confident that they will successfully rear them this year.

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Nick Brooks, Centre Manage, said: “generally when the first egg is laid the rest of the flock takes note and gets busy laying so it is really good news and means we have a number of chicks all around the same age to form a crèche.  With these nice long days, the chicks will have lots of time to get big strong and healthy before the winter sets in. We are pleased the weather has spurred them on to lay so early and despite a cold spring, it has turned into a very good breeding season.”

The flamingo chicks are parent reared because adult flamingos produce a special crop milk to feed their babies on (- pigeons are the only other bird to do this).  The fluffy chicks grow very quickly (up to 2cm a day) and they are fully-fledged by the age of 3 months.  They are usually grey or white in colouring and it takes approximately 2 to 3 years to obtain full pink plumage.

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WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is a great place to visit as the summer holidays come to an end with over 150 acres of wildlife gardens that are home to over 60 species of wildfowl, a family of otters and a beaver enclosure as well as an award winning canoe safari and boat tour experience, pond zone, den building, bug hunt area and a new adventure play area that opened in 2012 with the aim of allowing families and adults the opportunity to get close to and interact with nature.

For more information about WWT Martin Mere go online to

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