Flamingos have returned to Brookfield Zoo for the first time since 1997.
Nine young American flamingos, ranging from 5 months to 2 years old, were recently welcomed to the zoo. The “flaminglets” can be seen at the zoo’s swamp habitat and during daily outdoor appearances.
The zoo is also asking the public to help name two of the new flamingos, one male and one female. Name choices for the female are Fiona, Peggy, Sunrise or Daisy. The choices for the male are Otis, Ringo, Dash or Fabio.
Starting Friday, anyone interested in voting on the flamingos’ names can do so at Brookfield Zoo’s website. Voting will end at noon on Oct. 24 and the new names will be announced the next day.
“Brookfield Zoo is thrilled to welcome back American flamingos to the zoo’s family of aquatic birds,” Cody Hickman, associate director of avian care at the zoo, said in a statement.
Accompanied by zoo staff, the flamingos will be at the zoo’s Roosevelt Fountain every day at noon so visitors can view the birds up close.
The birds will be featured in zoo chats and make appearances during outdoor programming. The zoo is also creating a new program for summer 2024 that will allow visitors to feed the birds.
“Over the coming years, we hope to breed and hatch many more flamingo chicks at the zoo to build up a large flock, similar to what you might experience in the wild,” Hickman said.
American flamingos are fully grown at 2 years old. The chicks at the zoo have mostly gray feathers for now, they’ll become bright pink as they molt and mature. They can reach up to 5 feet tall, weigh between 4 and 8 pounds and have a 5-foot wingspan.