London Zoo's flamingos find partners on the pond
Tuesday 17 February 2004
Keepers at London Zoo have been helping the flamingos with their Valentines Day preparations by building them mud mounds. Like many birds, flamingos need to build a nest in order to find a mate, but the young inexperience birds on Three Island Pond have had a little trouble getting started
Flamingo nests are made out of mud which the female scrapes together using her bill but this year, keepers have had to lend a helping hand to trigger the natural breeding process.
John Ellis, Curator of birds ZSL commented, 'While flowers, chocolate and candlelight dinners work for us, flamingos prefer a large pile of mud. The young birds needed a bit of encouragement and someone to show them the ropes, so the keepers equipped with shovels and spades, have built some mud nests to help the flamingos on their way to a romantic weekend.'
When it comes to attracting a mate, flamingo colonies come together to perform a display which involves them getting in a line and carrying out a series of head movements - it's the speed dating of the bird world.
In the wild, the greater flamingo is under threat due to habitat destruction, much of the natural lagoons and lakes they live on are being reclaimed for development.
Keepers have also been helping the other inhabitants on Three Island Pond with their nesting arrangements; the eastern white pelicans. The pelicans have been built nest platforms on jetties over the ponds. Love will bloom over the waterfront view.
— ENDS —