Flamingo chick hatches in the Scottish Borders

A bird conservation centre in the Scottish Borders welcomed a flamingo chick into the world on Friday.

Bird Gardens Scotland, in Oxton, have been feeding the chick through an improvised feeder - made out of a pipette and syringe - filled with a 'crop milk' formula.

The baby bird, or ''flamingling', weighs 52g and is the first chick to be born in Scotland this year.

Although its sex is yet to be determined, they have named the flamingo Jean.

The chick arrived from Washington Wetland Centre as an egg, and now, a week on since it hatched, is doing really well.

The centre has been posting regular updates on Jean's progress.

"This flamingling has just been fed, but always wants more, but we need to be careful she/he doesn’t put on weight too quickly, or her legs won’t be able to hold her. Delicate balance, so she gets weighed every day."

The centre, which is also home to geese, swans, ducks, pheasants, lovebirds and other domestic and wild birds, is seeking to build up a flock of 60 flamingos. They aim to continue breeding for the next five to six years.

  • Here is the moment the chick hatched from its shell.

Facts about flamingoes:

  • There are six flamingo species in total including the Chilean flamingo, greater flamingo, lesser flamingo, Andean flamingo, Caribbean flamingo, Puna flamingo and Andean flamingo.

  • These birds' diet makes them pink! Chemicals found in algae, crustaceans and microscopic plant materials form tones of orange, red, yellow and pink.

  • Chicks hatch on mud nest made by the adults and take up to three years to fully mature.

  • The pinkest birds have the highest status in the flock.

  • Males and females perform a dance to attract a mate.

The centre has a flock of adult flamingoes. Credit: Bird Gardens Scotland CIC

The gardens hope to continue to help other bird centres by donating chicks to help replenish ageing flocks.