The new habitat will include indoor and outdoor living space, multiple wading pools, nesting islands and multiple vantage points to view the flamboyance. Construction began in winter 2022 and is intended to highlight the Chilean birds’ native Andean habitat.
The Denver Zoo has Chilean and American flamingos, namely Swift, Legend, Jonas, Denver, and Diamond. All the birds are named after “rockstars,” making the group the zoo’s “flockstars.”
The flock is also growing. In early September, the zoo announced five American chicks and four Chilean chicks hatched in the Avian Propagation Center and have remained behind the scenes while the new habitat is finished (and while staff members hand-rear the chicks).
The flamingo flock has gained popularity because zoo staff sometimes permits the flock to explore the zoo grounds, allowing visitors to get an up-close look at the flamboyance. The flamingos also made headlines in 2019 with a same-sex flamingo couple, Freddie Mercury and Lance Bass, two male birds that paired for several years.
“We’re grateful to our dedicated guests, members and donors who have rallied behind our flamingos to bring this remarkable new habitat to life and provide the best possible home for our flock,” Denver Zoo president and CEO Bert Vescolani said in a release. “Those who invest in the future of Denver Zoo are ensuring we can continue to provide exceptional care for our animals and help save wildlife for future generations.”
The flock has been moved into their new habitat about a week before the grand exhibit opening, scheduled for Nov. 16, allowing the birds to check out their new digs peacefully.
The new habitat will also feature art installations inspired by South American culture and landscapes, sponsored by donors. The new flamingo habitat and other improvements are funded by the Denver Zoo’s campaign, “Into the Great Wild Open,” which aims to raise $75 million for animal care, wildlife conservation and transformative educational experiences.
Colorado’s First Gentleman Marlon Reis and City of Denver Chief of Staff Jenn Ridder are expected to help with the ribbon cutting on Thursday, in addition to the “flockstars.”