Chilean flamingo

Chilean flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis

ClassAves
OrderPhoenicopteriformes
FamilyPhoenicopteridae
Size105cm
Weight2.5kg
Incubation30 days
Eggs1
Life-span50 years
Diet
fish, small crustaceans, algae, protozoa

Habitat
brackish lakes

Range
South America


Flamingos are aquatic waders. They live beside lakes, marshes and coastal waters in colonies of several thousand. Using pile of muds reinforced with plant matter, stones, shells and feathers, they construct conical nests about 40cm high that look like little volcanos and protect chicks from water and excessive heat on the ground.

Males and females take it in turns to incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. Thanks to a hormone called prolactin, parents produce and regurgitate a sort of ‘milk’ rich in fats and protein, which is bright red in colour because it contains red cells. Young flamingos subsist on this milk for about 2 months, until their beaks have curved to allow them to feed themselves.




Status in the wild (Source: IUCN)

  • Not evaluated
    NE
  • Data deficient
    DD
  • Least concern
    LC
  • Near threatened
    NT
  • Vulnerable
    VU
  • Endangered
    EN
  •  Critically endangered
    CR
  • Extinct in the wild
    EW
  • Extinct
    EX

In the zoo