Flamboyant Flamingo Lagoon
Flamboyant Flamingo Lagoon at the San Diego Zoo in Southern California is alive with color. These vibrate colored Flamingos delight the young and the young at heart. As for the staff, they must be bewitched. What a delight to the eye! Can you imagine coming to work daily with such beautiful birds? The Flamboyant Flamingo Lagoon is the talk of the zoo! Kids can’t believe it. Adults are overtaken by their beauty. How amazing this friendly bird is. How quirky and fun! Is there any other location any prettier? These beautiful flamingos must be the talk of the zoo!
How can you help but be instantly drawn to these amazing birds? With their vibrate color, they make the most magnificent welcome committee as you enter the zoo. With over 100 of these marvelous Caribbean Flamingos to greet you, you will be quickly captivated by their quirky behavior. They are utterly amusing! Their theme seems to be, “the more the merrier.” You can also view a smaller colony in the zoo’s Urban Jungle.
Three large and beautiful beach areas, an island just for nesting, and a spacious lagoon of water that gently circulates make the flamingos know that they are at home. So how can we be sure they are happy in their home at the San Diego Zoo? Perhaps because they continually lay their eggs and hatch chicks.
If you are fortunate enough to be at the zoo during the time the colony is mating, it is fun to watch the males courting the females. They do not always mate each year. In years of drought they will not mate. Happy flamingos will have lots of mud at nesting time. At the zoo, there is no drought! The entire colony of birds mate at one time. So there will either be no baby chicks in the colony or lots of baby chicks in the colony.
The flamingo reaches sexual maturity sometime around 6 years of age. It is then that they are ready to breed. These beautiful flamingos construct their nests deep down in the mud with stones and feathers. Building the nest is hard work! It can take both parents about 6 weeks to build the perfect nest. In these nests that are about 12 inches high, they will lay their egg. There they lay one chalky-white large egg. It is very rare for a flamingo to lay more than one egg. The parents take turns incubating the egg and protecting it from harm. They incubate the egg for about 31 days before it then hatches. The entire colony will help in the raising up of the young chicks.
The babies will have feathers that are gray and white. It will be about 3 years before they sport feathers of pink, orange and red. The beautiful colors of the Caribbean Flamingo is actually due to their diet. Their diet of algae, plankton , aquatic insects and small shrimp is what gives the flamingo their beautiful feathers of pinks, oranges, and red. When the flamingo sheds, he loses his colorful feathers. He then will start over like a juvenile. In time, with a continued good diet, he will once again sport his flamboyant colors.
So when is the last time you have spent a few hours with the flamboyant Caribbean Flamingo? Maybe it is time to make your way to the San Diego Zoo. The flamingo welcome committee will be waiting.