The chicks stay with their parents for around 80 days before fledging. These first days provide the most exciting moments, since they reveal how important it is for adults and young alike to feel safe in a protected environment. The flamingos’ first attempts at flight only hint at their majestic nature, which is still hidden beneath the cute exterior of the youngest birds. In winter, many of the flamingos migrate south to northern Africa, although some birds head for the valleys of Comacchio, the Camargue and Sardinia, while others remain in Priolo. They can be recognised from a distance by reading the coloured rings attached to their legs by researchers from the Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA, Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), LIPU staff and huge numbers of volunteers.
Saline di Priolo is the only flamingo nest site in Sicily. Their arrival was the crowning moment of years of hard work to restore ecological balance to the marine area. They are very fragile and demanding birds, which require extremely clean water, plenty of food and optimal water levels in the marshland they call home. This safe and inviting habitat is also an important sign of the environmental health of the surrounding area.
With 55 chicks born in 2015 and 130 in 2016, we’re expecting a huge number of pink arrivals next summer!