Flamingos flock to Folly Farm

You might do a double-take but your eyes are not deceiving you - the new family of flamingos at Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire are grey, not pink.

The new flamingo chicks, who only hatched last season, arrived at the Pembrokeshire Zoo grey and will remain that colour until their first moult.

Tim Morphew, our zoo curator, said:

"When flamingos are first hatched they do not possess their famous fuchsia feathers, they actually start their lives completely grey. Then after their first moult, and with the correct diet rich in alpha and beta carotenoid pigments, the pink feathers will appear.

"We are anticipating our flock growing their pink feathers after their first moult in September, but until then they will keep their fluffy grey appearance. We still think they are a beautiful addition to the family at Folly Farm and we will all enjoy watching in anticipation as their pink feathers start appearing later in the year."

Flamingo Lagoon will initially be home to 10 Chilean flamingos as well as other waterfowl. 

The aviary, which is situated next to our Penguin Coast attraction, has been specially designed to ensure that the beautiful birds can be fully flighted and have enough space to enjoy their time on Welsh soil. It is equipped with a heated house and two pools with different depths - one that is shallow for the birds to eat in and another which is deeper, recreating the species' ideal mating conditions.

Flamingo Lagoon

Due to their long thin legs and soft feet flamingos are delicate birds, so the pool has been filled with sand to give a nice soft finish underfoot. It has also been lined with a revolutionary new geo-synthetic membrane to give a natural look to the pool.

Tim added: "We've been looking forward to adding flamingos to our collection of birds for quite some time andwe are excited to welcome them to Folly Farm."

The aviary is particularly spacious as zoo keepers are hoping to expand the size of the flock in the future.

It is very difficult to determine the gender of flamingos while they are still juvenile but in order to ascertain how many females and males are living in the enclosure their feathers will be sent off for DNA analysis.