Flamingo Incubating Her Eggs - Photo by NickBarounis/Shutterstock.com
Many children have asked their parents where babies come from. We don’t know if flamingo babies do the same, but we do know that human adults wonder where flamingo babies come from. Do flamingos lay eggs?
No, it’s not the exact same question, but we’re not going down that path. This is close enough.
Do Flamingos Lay Eggs?
Photo by MelKowasic/Shutterstock.com
Yes, flamingos do lay eggs, and they lay their eggs in a nest like any normal bird would.
Utilizing sticks, mud, rocks - whatever they can get their hands, err, wings on - flamingos build a safe nest to keep their egg. And a couple does it as a team, with both the male and female collecting building materials and placing them properly.
Generally, flamingos lay one, big egg that ranges in size from 115 grams to 140 grams. It’s possible for a female flamingo to lay more than one egg at once, but it’s not common. The eggs are normally shaped how you’d think in an imperfect oval and are white, although they can be pale blue right after they’ve been laid.
It takes approximately one month for the egg to hatch - 27 to 31 days - and while the baby is growing inside, the male and female flamingo soon-to-be parents take turns sitting on top of it to keep it warm and safe. Flamingos will very carefully lift and turn the egg with their bills, but they do so with extreme caution; if the egg falls out to the nest, it’s not coming back.
Photo by SteveBower/Shutterstock.com
The process of hatching takes about 24 to 36 hours. It can be a bit of a commotion, with the baby calling constantly until it gets out of the egg, using its “egg tooth,” which is not a real tooth and falls away soon after the chick is hatched, to escape the walls of its birthplace. While this is happening, flamingo parents stand around looking at the egg and vocalize their anxiety. It can be a very nerve wracking time for a flamingo to watch its offspring try to break out of its egg, fully knowing how precarious the entire thing is. Again, if something goes awry, there is likely no way for the parents to rectify the situation.
After the offspring is hatched, it will remain in the nest for roughly a week while being nurtured by its parents. Once the hatching has enough strength to leave the nest, it will join the colony and a community of grown flamingos will help care and raise it to adulthood. With very few predators out looking to eat baby flamingos, it’s a relatively safe environment for them to grow and learn how to be a flamingo, from swimming to finding food and more.
Photo by jurra8/Shutterstock.com
So, now you know whether or not flamingos lay eggs, and you know some more about their birthing rituals and what flamingo chicks do in their first handful of days on earth. It’s a wonderful thing to learn about how other animals produce their offspring and that they can have a similar love, care, and affection for their children that humans do for theirs.