Heat Wave In the UK Helps Rare Tropical Flamingos Lay Eggs for the First Time in 15 Years

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The Gloucestershire reserve from southwest England has six rare birds named Andean flamingos who haven’t been in the mood of laying eggs for the past 15 years! Experts couldn’t believe when they saw that the flamingos were ready to lay eggs.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust have an explanation. It seems that the heatwave in Europe was perfect for the tropical birds to get ready and lay eggs. The mothers started to lay nine eggs, but because they were not fertilized, they didn’t hatch.

“Full Parenting Mode”

However, to keep the birds happy, they game them eggs from the Chilean flamingos watch them hatch, explained Mark Roberts, the aviculture manager at the Slimbridge reserve:

“With the Andeans in full parenting mode, we gave them Chilean chicks to bring up as their own. It’s great motivation and enriching for the birds.”

The reserve hopes that this change in behavior could make the birds willing to lay more eggs, and perhaps one of the birds is fertile.

The last successful breeding was back in 1999, and the last time the birds laid eggs was in 2003. Some of the birds at the wildlife reserve in England have been brought in the 1960s, outliving the staff and making them the oldest animals at the reserve.

Even though they’re pretty old, they can breed, but the fertility decreases over the years.

The Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University stated that there are only 38,000 Andean flamingos in the whole world, making them “the rarest species of flamingo,” and a vulnerable bird on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

This year, in the UK, there was record heat in May and then in June, reaching 72.5 degrees Fahrenheit. In Faversham (Kent) it got to a high of 95 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the information from the Met Office National Climate Information Center.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere