Chilean flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis
fish, small crustaceans, algae, protozoa
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 evaluatedNE
- Data deficientDD
- Least concernLC
- Near threatenedNT
- Critically endangeredCR
- Extinct in the wildEW