Meet the new flamingos conservationists at Pensthorpe Natural Park are hoping will produce first ever egg
- Credit: Steve Adams
They are pink and flamboyant but could they be the key to producing a much-loved Norfolk attraction's first ever flamingo egg?
That is what conservationists at Pensthorpe Natural Park , near Fakenham, are hoping for after introducing 20 new birds to join the park's resident flock of 29.
The new greater flamingos, which have come from Slimbridge Wetland Centre, near Gloucester, take the Pensthorpe flock beyond the 'magic number 40' which, according to experts, can help to boost breeding rates.
Chrissie Kelley, head of species management at Pensthorpe, said: 'The birds were quickly and successfully integrated with the resident flock and I'm pleased to report that they are all doing really well.
'They're displaying lots of positive behaviours and we have high hopes for positive nesting attempts.
'Obviously breeding conditions depend on many factors including the size and space of the enclosure and the ratio of males to females, but having over 40 birds here at Pensthorpe for the first time in our history presents a really exciting opportunity to see the possibility of having our own baby flamingos hatching in the Wensum Valley.'
The new birds range from two to 30 years old, and twelve are female while eight are male, taking the gender split of the entire flock to 24 males and 25 females.
Notoriously social birds, flamingos enjoy living in colonies of sometimes over 100 and the larger the flock, the more likely the birds are to mate.
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Flamingos build their nests out of mud, stones and feathers and do so about six weeks before they lay their eggs. The birds tend to lay just one egg that hatches after a 30-day incubation period.
Owner Deb Jordan added: 'Our flamingos are a firm favourite with visitors, so we are thrilled to be able to announce an even larger, happier flock.'
All 49 flamingos are on permanent display within the park's new wetland discovery area , which opened in July.
This is the second time this year that the resident flock has expanded, after welcoming four famous flamingos from the Kensington Roof Gardens in London back in February.