Borders flamingo chick is first to be born in Scotland this year

A four-day-old Chilean flamingo chick being hand-reared by Mark Haillay and Owen Joiner at Bird Gardens Scotland at Oxton. Photo: Katielee Arrowsmith/SWNS
A four-day-old Chilean flamingo chick being hand-reared by Mark Haillay and Owen Joiner at Bird Gardens Scotland at Oxton. Photo: Katielee Arrowsmith/SWNS

Scotland’s first flamingo chick of the year has been born at a Borders aviary.

Bird Gardens Scotland at Oxton welcomed the little bird into the world on Friday, September 13.

A four-day-old flamingo chick born at Bird Gardens Scotland at Oxton. Photo: Katielee Arrowsmith/SWNS

A four-day-old flamingo chick born at Bird Gardens Scotland at Oxton. Photo: Katielee Arrowsmith/SWNS

The four-day-old bird, yet to be sexed, weighed just 52 grams when it hatched.

Owen Joiner, a director at Bird Gardens Scotland, said: “It’s the only one at the moment in Scotland.

“A second one has also hatched, and they’ll soon be followed by another nine.

“We dribble-fed it with a rich ‘saliva’.

“We mimic that with sardines, egg yolk, baby porridge and some other vitamins and minerals.

“Edinburgh Zoo has some, but they’ve not bred in a while.”

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

Flamingos start breeding from between five and six years old and reach adulthood at a year and a half, with some reaching the age of 60 in captivity.

In the future, the aviary hopes to help out other bird centres by donating chicks to help replenish ageing flocks.

Mr Joiner added: “I hand-reared some youngsters and introduced them to the flock in the spring.

“It gave them a false sense of achievement and filled them with confidence, which can encourage a flock to breed.

“We would like to help out other institutions.”