Greater Flamingoes

on 10th August 2006

Chan Yoke Meng had the opportunity to observe the small colony of captive Greater Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus rubber), also known as Caribbean Flamingoes, at the Jurong Bird Park between December 2003 and January 2004. He witnessed and recorded on film the hatching of one egg and how the parent birds fed the chick.

There were three nests, each a small mound of earth with a shallow depression at the top. On each of the nests was a single egg. The egg in one nest hatched on 1st January 2004 giving a healthy chick. The second nest gave a dead chick. The egg in the third nest failed to hatch.

The successfully hatched chick was totally covered with white down feathers. During the first few days the chick was snugly tucked under the wing of the parent bird. With its head poking out of the wing, the chick was fed with a milky liquid secreted from the upper digestive track of the parent. The parent held its curved bill over the chick’s straight bill and dripped the secretion down. Flamingo chicks are usually fed by their parents until the former are quite old, even after their bill is completely curved and capable of filter feeding.

Thanks Meng for sharing your observations and images. Obviously the chick did not approve of your presence.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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