Staff are tickled pink at the arrival of the first flamingo egg to be laid at Paradise Park for ten years.

Introducing five new birds into the flock a year ago ruffled some feathers and produced results, with the team at the Hayle wildlife sanctuary now hoping that its first ever flamingo chick might now hatch later this month.

Director Alison Hales said: “A year ago our flamingo flock increased in size when an additional five arrived from Slimbridge Wetland Centre. With a bigger flock there is much more chance of breeding success.

"Twelve months on and not only do we have our first egg laid in ten years, but the rest of the flock are all building nests too.

Staff have created a special muddy nesting lagoon in the walled garden for flamingos.

They gradually build up a tall structure into a shape that suits them, adding more mud as they sit on the nest.

Falmouth Packet:

Alison added: "We don’t know if the egg will hatch but the parents are very attentive, swapping incubation duties and continually tending to their nest.

"Fingers crossed the egg is fertile and that Paradise Park might have its very first flamingo chick later in June.”

Flamingos form strong pair bonds, with just one egg laid at a time, which takes 30 days to incubate.

Once hatched, both male and female birds feed the chick on a special ‘crop milk’.

Flamingos can reach the age of 40 and are able to breed from the age six.

Their iconic pink feathers come from the tiny plants and invertebrates they eat and are made waterproof by a preen gland, which releases an oil.