This is a large bird which can reach between 110cm and 130cm, and can have a wing span of 120cm to 150cm. Average weights of this bird range from 2.5kg to 3.5kg.
Habitat and Distribution
The natural habitat of this species consists of shallow brackish marshes and lagoons or shallow fresh water lakes in South America through Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and parts of Eastern Brazil. It can also be found on the border of Germany and the Netherlands at Zwilbrockervenn where there is an introduced colony.
The average lifespan of these birds can be between 40 and 50 years.
A special comb like structure around the Flamingos beak, coupled with the beaks shape allow it to filter algae and very small crustaceans out of the water.
Groups and Breeding
Flamingos can live in colonies made up of thousands of individuals. During April and May these colonies erupt in to a spectacular display of synchronised dancing before they mate. Many of the individuals in the colony will form long term pairs year after year. Females of this species (as with all Flamingos) lay a single egg. After laying the egg in a nest made from a mound of mud, both parents will help to incubate it for 27 – 31 days.
This species is currently not yet classified as being under threat from extinction however this may change in the future as its natural population is dropping fairly rapidly. this is largely due to human factors such as hunting, taking their eggs and destroying their natural habitat.
Carotenoid digested by these birds during feeding is what causes their bright coloured plumage, and many birds will not develop the bright pink colouration until they are 3 or 4 years old.