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Flock of nine baby flamingos hand-reared in Scotland

The eggs took 30 days to develop and the chicks are being fed by a syringe.

A flock of baby flamingos is being hand-reared in Scotland.

The nine tiny chicks are only two months old and eat a liquid diet every two hours, fed to them with a syringe.

Enthusiasts Mark Haillay and Owen Joiner are behind the project to create a new flamboyance of Chilean flamingos, which is a feat said to be "virtually unheard of".

They are being cared for in Oxton in the Scottish Borders, as part of project Bird Gardens Scotland.

"It's an incredible moment when you first hear a flamingo egg grunt at you and you know that within 48 hours there will be a chick asleep, resting after its epic journey from inside the egg out into the world," Mr Haillay said.

"It's very exciting to think these little balls of grey fluff will grow to be majestic flamingos."

Eggs: Took 30 days to hatch.
Eggs: Took 30 days to hatch. SWNS

The eggs took 30 days to develop, before hatching into healthy flamingo chicks.

"Rearing flaminglings is hard work - it takes the energy of both parent flamingos to rear just one chick," he added.

"We're hoping to rear more than ten chicks each year from surplus eggs."

The birds have not yet been named, but donors can pledge £500 to choose one for them.

Mr Joiner said: "The lovely thing is that the rearing facility, or the Baby Barn as it will be known, was built with the help of people from across Scotland and around the world.

"The materials for this specialised facility were paid for through a Crowdfunder campaign and the barn was built by volunteers."

Chicks: Being hand-reared.
Chicks: Being hand-reared. SWNS

The project not only breeds flamingos, but also other birds such as grouse, pheasants, ducks and swans.

"Now there is a kitchen and a dry rearing room for grouse chicks and rare pheasants," Mr Joiner continued.

"There is a wet rearing room for chicks of the rare ducks, geese and swans we work with through the summer months, and then for flamingos in the autumn and their first winter.

"After that they will move to the flamingo house and pond in the grounds."

Chilean flamingos: Endangered.
Chilean flamingos: Endangered. SWNS

He added: "Working with birds that are threatened or endangered because of various issues in the wild is our life-time's work.

"Being able to create a new flock of Chilean flamingos is virtually unheard of.

"This is very special and we're grateful to the Borders community for supporting us in our efforts to help preserve the future of threatened bird species."

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