The first baby flamingos of the year hatched at Charles Paddock Zoo on Thursday and Friday.
The two chicks are the first of about seven expected Caribbean flamingo hatchlings this year, according to Atascadero Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish. The hatching season typically lasts until about July, she said.
Because they stay in the nest for up to two weeks after hatching, the little white chicks are still hard to see, Banish warned.
Last year, the zoo had only two flamingo chicks. Zoo experts expect the number of hatchlings will continue to increase over the years as the flock has reach a critical breeding point, Banish said. (Flamingos don’t typically breed unless there are a large number of individuals in the flock.)
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The zoo has about 20 adult flamingos, a dozen of which were added in 2013 when the zoo acquired the birds from the closing Hollywood Park Raceway.
Besides new avian friends, the zoo also unveiled a new entrance sign on Thursday, courtesy of Atascadero resident Chuck Ward, the Vandenberg Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars (MOWW) and local artist Mark Greenaway.
The arched sign features animals in the “ZOO” letters and a tree whose leaves and branches hide the camouflaged faces of other animals.