Flamingo

Species profile

Name: flamingos are wading birds in the family Phoenicopteridae. There are six species of flamingo: the Chilean, greater, American, lesser, Andean, and James’ flamingo.

Appearance: flamingos are known for their vibrant colour which can range from light pink to bright red. Their colour is due to carotenoids in the plant and animal plankton they eat.

Size: the greater flamingo is the tallest species measuring around 1.4 metres tall and weighing 3.5 kg. The smallest is the lesser flamingo which reaches 0.8 metres and weighs around 2.5 kg.

Diet: flamingos feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae as well as larvae, small insects, molluscs, and crustaceans. Their bills are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, and are used upside-down.

Did you know: they are social birds that live in colonies of thousands. Before breeding, the colonies split into smaller groups of around 15 to 50 birds. These groups perform synchronised mating dances. Unusually, the displays are not directed at particular individuals but instead seem to occur at random.

Location: they are found in large alkaline or saline lakes and estuarine lagoons in South America, the Caribbean, coastal Africa, southern Europe, and South East Asia.

Best places to see flamingos

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the best places to see flamingos are as follows:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Salar de Uyuni
Bolivia
100%
very high
5.0
very good
1
reports
Playa Santa Lucia
Cuba
100%
very high
4.0
very good
1
reports
Los Glaciares
Argentina
50%
average
3.5
good
2
reports
Torres del Paine
Chile
33%
low
4.7
very good
3
reports

Photo credit: Pexels under a Creative Commons license from Pixabay