Chilean flamingo chick hatches at Lincoln Park Zoo

“We are absolutely elated to welcome our first Chilean flamingo chick,” said Sunny Nelson, curator of birds. (Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo)

The Lincoln Park Zoo announced it hatched a Chilean flamingo successfully for the first time ever on Sept. 11.

PHOTOS: First-ever Chilean flamingo chick hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo

"We are absolutely elated to welcome our first Chilean flamingo chick," said Sunny Nelson, curator of birds. "The chick is currently raised behind-the-scenes and will be re-introduced to the flock once the chick is more independent."

The sex of the chick has yet to be determined, but shell fragments have been collected for DNA analysis which is a non-invasive way of determining whether it is male or female. The chick weighed about the same as a bar of soap when it hatched, 95 grams.

Like all species of flamingos, Chilean flamingos have pink feathers but are born white-grey and only begin to gain that iconic hue when they're about two years old. Flamingos reach up to about 40 inches in height and stand on one leg to preserve body heat by tucking the other underneath their bodies.

The flock of Chilean flamingos is on exhibit at the zoo's Waterfowl Lagoon.
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