Love is in the air at Drusillas thanks to music of Barry White

Zoo keepers are hoping the music with encourage the Chilean flamingos to breed
Zoo keepers are hoping the music with encourage the Chilean flamingos to breed

THE SOULFUL sound of Barry White is being played to Drusilla’s Chilean flamingos to encourage them to breed.

The late singer’s love lyrics along with a number of bird-themed ballads including Manfred Mann’s Pretty Flamingo and Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings are being used in a bid to encourage the feathered favourites to mate.

However, it is the classic seduction songs of love lyricists Barry White and Marvin Gaye that keepers are most hopeful will see love blossom.

Zoo keepers came up with the idea to use music to encourage the birds to breed.

The flamingos arrived at the Alfriston zoo in 1982 and despite many notable breeding successes throughout the years, there has not been a successful hatching since 2009.

This year the zoo keepers hope to break this cycle by giving the group a gentle nudge in the right direction in an effort to encourage their natural courtship behaviour.

Head keeper Mark Kenward said, “We had been playing the bird calls in the enclosure when someone suggested that we give some love classics a try to see if they made any difference.

“Since playing the compilation and vocalisations, we have seen some subtle changes in the birds.

“They appear to be spending more time at the nest sites and taking a greater interest in each other.

“We are not entirely sure which sounds are having the desired effect but we are just trying to do everything we can to set the mood.

“However, this is not the only way we are trying to prompt breeding within the group. The birds are very sensitive to their surroundings and feel more secure in large numbers, so we have placed mirrors in the enclosure to create the illusion of a fuller flock.

“Over the coming months we will also supplement their diet with extra protein to ensure that all the birds are feeling in the pink and we have even started building nests in the mud to show them how it’s done.”