First flamingo eggs in 15 years at Pensthorpe Natural Park
Officials at Pensthorpe Natural Park are ‘tickled pink’ at the arrival of its first flamingo eggs in 15 years.
These are the first eggs that the park, near Fakenham, has had since it has kept greater flamingo there.
Last year, Pensthorpe welcomed another 20 birds to its previous flock of 29 in the hope a larger flock would lead to greater breeding.
Doubling their numbers has worked, producing this result, and experts say that the ‘magic number 40’ can help to boost breeding rates amongst flamingos.
The first egg was laid by a 14-year-old female flamingo, and the egg has since been carefully swapped for a ‘dummy’ egg in order to protect it – which is now being nurtured and cared for during the incubation process.
If all goes to plan, the egg will be returned to its nest shortly before hatching.
Since the first egg was laid, more have been laid and there is now a wait to find out if any of the eggs are fertile.
Pensthorpe Natural Park has done a lot of work to their enclosure to give them more space to encourage good breeding conditions as a part of its Wetland Discovery Area development which opened last summer.
Flamingos now reside in a purpose-built habitat, illustrative of tropical lagoons more commonly found in southern Spain.
The design of the enclosure includes a breeding area and specially-designed winter quarters.
The park’s head of species management, Chrissie Kelley said: “Obviously breeding conditions depend on many factors including the size and space of the enclosure and the ratio of males to females, but having 49 birds has presented a really exciting opportunity to see the possibility of having our own baby flamingos hatching in the Wensum Valley.
“We all hope that the eggs are fertile and that more eggs will be laid in the future.”
Flamingos build their nests out of mud, stones and feathers, creating small conical mounds on the ground. They tend to lay just one egg that hatches after a 30-day incubation period.
The Pensthorpe Natural Park, open daily all-year round, has recently celebrated its 31st birthday and the 700-acre reserve has around 1,000 different species of birds, animal and plants.
For more information about Pensthorpe, visit pensthorpe.com or call 01328 851465.