SeaWorld Orlando is caring for two recently hatched Caribbean flamingo chicks, one of which is pictured below!
Hatched on May 24, the youngster primarily stays in a brooder (similar to an incubator) to keep warm. Currently set at 96 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature is intended to simulate the flamingo parents brooding the chick under their own feathers.
Notice the fluffy, whitish-gray feathers? Newly hatched chicks are covered with gray or white down feathers and acquire their pink adult plumage after about three years. The food that makes up a flamingo’s diet is rich in pigments that contribute to their eventually pink color.
The eight-day-old chick literally receives around-the-clock care, going home with a bird expert for a few more weeks. The chick is fed a formula that is high in fat and protein, five times each day, to ensure that the chick is receiving all the essential vitamins and minerals needed to grow.
Once the chick is older, it will join the 60 Caribbean flamingos currently at the park. SeaWorld Orlando is also home to 119 Chilean flamingos. A portion of the flamingo flock takes part in a daily parade through the park, giving guests a chance to meet the beautiful pink birds up close.