LONDON (AP) — A British conservation charity says record-breaking temperatures have encouraged a rare flock of Andean flamingos to lay eggs for the first time since 2003.
The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust says six of the exotic birds laid nine eggs, all of which were infertile. The charity's reserve in Gloucestershire in southwest England then gave the Andean flamingos eggs from near-relatives, Chilean flamingos, to look after.
Mark Roberts, the aviculture manager at the Slimbridge reserve, says "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."
We’ve had quite a treat at @wwtslimbridge over the weekend! Thanks to the warm weather, our Andean flamingo flock has begun nesting unexpectedly and one of them has laid an egg!! - While at the moment we’re unsure if it’s fertile, this is still exciting news as it’s the first egg that’s been laid by this flock in 15 years! 🥚✨ - We have all our fingers crossed at the moment that the flamingos have bred successfully and the egg is viable, however for now it’s a waiting game 🤞🏻
The Andeans are some of the oldest animals at the trust's Slimbridge reserve. Some arrived in the 1960s as adults. The birds are long-lived and can breed into old age.