A pair of male Flamingos at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Gloucestershire in the UK were “were so desperate to have a family” they started stealing eggs from other Flamingo’s nests. The staff were impressed with their parenting skills, an A+ for egg-sitting and hatching, that rather than ostracise them from their society when other nests were abandoned by their heterosexual parents the Carlos and Fernando as they are called were considered the best alternative to “adopt” the chick, just as well this is not in Queensland Australia (or Australia for that matter).
For the first adoption the unhatched egg was taken off the pair and put into an incubator. Hours later a healthy chick hatched, however staff were worried the “flamboyant duo” would not bond with the newborn. This is because the process of bonding normally begins when the chicks are “calling” them from inside the egg. But not to be put off the staff put the chick carefully into an old eggshell, taped it up and returned to the unsuspecting couple’s empty nest. The pair were soon seen ‘talking’ (gossiping more like) to the chick inside the egg and a little while later it hatched for a second time – to be greeted by its loving new foster parents.
WWT spokeswoman Jane Waghorn said: “Fernando and Carlos are a same sex couple who have been known to steal other Flamingos’ eggs by chasing them off their nest because they wanted to rear them themselves. They were rather good at sitting on eggs and hatching them, when a nest was abandoned, it seemed like a good idea to make them surrogate parents.”
The happy pair have been together for about six years, and can feed their chick without any female help – by producing milk in their throat. Carlos and Fernando not alone, as apparently gay flamingos are not particularly rare “If there aren’t enough females or they don’t hit it off with them, they will pair off with other males,” Ms Waghorn said…..
This all gives me hope….