Education & Conservation

Home   > Education & Conservation   > About Carribean Flamingo (Click-Readmore)

About Carribean Flamingo (Click-Readmore)


Carribean Flamingo

Scientific name: Phoenicopterus ruber
Higher classification: Phoenicopterus
Class: Aves
Kingdom: Animalia
Order: Phoenicopteriformes
Family: Phoenicopteridae

Description

The Caribbean Flamingo has a length of about 120 to 145 cm with a wingspan of 140 to 165 cm, weighing some 2.1 to 4.1 kg. They have long slender legs, a long thin neck, long pointed wings and a large curved bill. The toes are webbed. They are known especially for their pink and reddish body with lighter feathers on the back. The legs and feet are pink, and the wings are edged with black flight feathers that are only visible in flight. The bill is pink with a black tip and is pale yellow at the base. Juveniles have a grey and brown plumage with traces of pink.

Distribution

They inhabit the Caribbean Islands and the north coast of South America. There is also a small population on the Galapagos Islands. There are no migration patterns, but they will move in response to lack of food and disturbance. On Bonaire and Curaçao, they fly each year to mainland Venezuela once the breeding season is over to feed in lagoons along the coast.

Habitat

Caribbean Flamingos are found in the lagoons, mudflats and lakes of the Caribbean, the Yucatan Peninsula and the Galapagos Islands. They are highly social birds and they live in colonies that can contain thousands of individuals.

Diet

Caribbean Flamingos feed upon insects, worms, vegetation and algae. They mainly feed during the day and they sweep their bill upside down through shallow water picking up food as they go.

Breeding

Caribbean Flamingo produce one chalky white egg that is laid on a mud mound in shallow water. The nest of each pair is situated approximately 1.5 from neighbouring nests so the chick remains safe from other breeding pairs. Both parents incubate the egg which takes 27 - 31 days to hatch. They will defend their nest during the breeding season, otherwise they are non-territorial.