Almost 40 distinctive pink flamingos have taken up their new home at the Lake District Wildlife Park near Keswick.
38 of the long-legged Greater Flamingos, Phoenicopterus roseus, have arrived in Cumbria as part of a joint plan with the world-renowned Martin Mere Wetland Centre. The aim is to create a new ‘satellite’ breeding group, in order to spread the UK’s flamingo population across different sites and inspire the next generation of conservationists.
Flamingos are renowned as very social birds who parade around in animated breeding displays while flapping their wings, stretching their long necks and ‘honking’ loudly. To enable visitors to see these synchronised ritual displays first-hand, staff at the Wildlife Park have taken specialist advice from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) to design and build a new flamingo enclosure.
The species also mate for life and it is hoped the newly-arrived flamingos will pair up in the coming weeks.
Lake District Wildlife Park Manager, Richard Robinson, says, “Flamingos are incredible birds. They are one of the most instantly recognisable wading birds in the world and there has been a great buzz of excitement about their arrival. They are well-known as colourful and flamboyant, and at 1.5metres, Greater flamingos are the tallest of all flamingo species.
“On a more serious note, their arrival highlights our long-term commitment to supporting awareness-raising and conservation of these popular birds. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust is one of the leading flamingo breeders in the UK and we have been working with them for a long time now to fully understand and adopt the very best practices for rearing and caring for flamingos. It’s great to have such a large flock – or flamboyance – here in Cumbria for people to visit for themselves!”
Greater Flamingos are native to Southern Europe, Central Asia, North West India and Southern Africa. Although known for their pink colouring, they are actually born grey and slowly turn pink due to their shellfish diet.