Flamingo - Blank Park Zoo

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Scientific Name: 
Phoenicopterus chilensisFlamingo ChickFlamingos
Feeding Type:
Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil         
Shallow parts of salt lakes and warm, brackish coastal regions
of tropical and semi-tropical areas           
Diet in the Wild: 
Small, swimming crustaceans, algae, and unicellular organisms                      
Diet at the Zoo: 
“Flamingo Chow” which contains natural carotenes                    
Flamingos are three to four feet tall, and weigh anywhere from 13-16 lbs. They are pale pink in color, with black feathers at the tip of their wings. They can be easily recognized by their long, sinuous neck, and slender legs. Bill is bent downward in the middle.
Flamingos are gregarious, wading birds and live in large flocks. This highly social behavior is a form of defense as it increases the chance of predator sighting. Flamingos live, feed, breed and fly in large flocks. The beak is a filtration apparatus functioning like a comb or filter, with thousands of little filaments which allow the water to pass through, but which dredge out the tiny food particles. In order to feed, they shake their heads from side to side to sieve their food from the water. Flamingos sleep on one leg.
Flamingos mature at about 1½ years and will loose the gray on their head. When ready to mate, a cone shaped mud nest is constructed on the salt flats. One chalky-white, goose-sized egg is laid and incubated for about 30 days. Both parents will incubate and when the young hatches, it has downy gray plumage and a straight red beak.
The population of Flamingos are fairly stable, but its nesting colonies are vulnerable to human and other natural disturbances.

Interesting Facts

  • Gender is indistinguishable by external features.
  • Egyptian hieroglyphics use the flamingo as a symbol for “red”
  • The pink of the flamingo comes from the carotenes that they consume.


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