Bioparc Fuengirola encourages flamingo courtship rituals

Flamingos start their courtship displays

Flamingos start their courtship displays Credit: Bioparc Fuengirola

BIOPARC Fuengirola encourages flamingo courtship rituals in order to ensure a healthy colony exists in the zoological park.

The largest colony in Andalucia arrives about now to the natural reserve of Laguna de Fuente de Piedra which is a unique enclave within the Mediterranean.

There these birds begin their ritual of courtship, nesting and laying of eggs but to some extent, are open to natural predators as well as effects of the climate which is why the 50 flamingos at the Bioparc are important.

Since April, the team has prepared the flamingo beach by building a suitable environment that guarantees optimal conditions for these birds to begin mating and building their original mud nests.

Courtship is observed by perfectly synchronised choreography in which the flamingos unfold their colourful wings, stretch their necks, turn their heads from side to side or walk together unexpectedly changing direction.

The keepers ensure that the beach the birds occupy is as similar as possible to a brackish water marsh, a place where flamingos, in their natural habitat, build their nests and lay their eggs.

After laying, both the male and the female take turns to incubate the egg for a period that can last up to 30 days and the first 48 hours after hatching are the most crucial for the chicks.

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