Flamingo (Chilean)

Flamingo (Chilean)

lasaireĢan Sileach

  • Scientific name: Phoenicopterus chilensis
  • IUCN status: Near threatened
  • Habitat: Chile, southern Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina – shallow salt water lakes, rivers, streams
  • Diet: Carnivore – tiny crustaceans, insects, snails and micro-organisms living in water and mud

Flamingos build cone-shaped nests of mud with a dip at the top to prevent the egg from rolling off. Upside-down filter feeders, they use their tongue and beak to suck in water and filter out plankton. Parent flamingos can recognise their chicks by their call in a flock of up to 30,000 other youngsters. The pink or reddish colour of flamingoes comes from pigments derived from plankton.

Keeper’s Secret

A flamingo’s leg does not bend backwards ... what looks like its knee is actually its ankle and so bends the right way. The knees are hidden under the wings!

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