Tracy Aviary is tickled pink about two new members of its 400-plus flock.
Flamingo chicks — hatched Aug. 14 and 19, respectively — already can be seen, along with the rest of the flamboyant Chilean flamingos at the aviary, 589 E. 1300 South in Salt Lake City. Daily viewing takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Flamingos have one baby at a time. For the first few days after birth, chicks stay inside the nest. But they soon begin exploring their surroundings as their parents stay close by, according to a Wednesday news release.
The chicks, which weigh an average of 70 to 90 grams at birth, depend on their parents’ “crop milk” for the first six months, but they begin eating food on their own within the first week. They grow quickly, doubling their hatch size within a week.
The chicks are born with gray feathers, which they keep for several years, until the natural pink dye in the brine shrimp and algae they eat, comes through.
During the day, the Tracy Aviary chicks are tended by their parents. At sunset, they are taken inside and kept warm in a brooder until morning, when they are returned to their parents inside the exhibit area. Flamingos can recognize their own chicks through vocalizations, the news release states.
Guests can celebrate the arrival of the chicks — and learn their names — Sept. 14 during the “Let’s Flamingle." The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p .m. and will include flamingo bingo, a one-legged standing contest, birdkeeper talks and other activities. Guests are invited to dress in pink for the party.
The first chick will be named by the donor who had the highest bid at the aviary’s annual conservation gala, Ready to Hatch. The second chick will be named through a public vote.
Chilean flamingos are listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and are vulnerable to habitat change and exploitation, such as unregulated egg collection and hunting. According to a 2010 census, approximately 300,000 Chilean flamingos survive in the wild.