Flamingo (Phoenicopterus) | Characteristics, Habitats & Amazing Facts

Name – Flamingo

Scientific Name : Phoenicopterus

Type : Birds 

Age : 15 – 30 years

Diet : Omnivore

Physical Characteristics:

Height : 100cm – 150cm

Weight : 2kg – 4kg

Colour : Blue, White, Orange, Pink 

Skin Type : Feathers

Wingspan : 100cm – 180cm

Current Population : 4597600

Current Population Trend : Decreasing 

Native : Americas, including the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Facts

Main Prey : Algae, Fish, Insects

Habitat : Large lakes and plant less lagoons 

Predators : Human, Eagles, Wild dogs

Favourite Food : Algae

Amazing Facts

·         According to fossil records, the population from which flamingos originated is very ancient and lived about 30 million years ago, before many other avian orders evolved.

·         Flamingos are birds and long legs (with webbed feet), an S-shaped body, a curved beak, and pink feathers. Beta carotene, a red/orange dye, is found in their diet of algae and brine shrimp. The high concentration of beta carotene in the bird’s diet is responsible for the vivid pink colour of its feathers.

·         The flamingo’s biggest survival advantage is its colony lifestyle. They live in colonies of 100s, if not thousands, of birds.

·         Though this bird is not known to migrate, a colony may evacuate if there is a drought in the region or if one of their food sources is in short supply. Birds that live in a high-altitude lake can migrate to a lower-altitude body of water during the winter.

·         When a colony’s breeding season begins, the male flamingo struts about in front of the females, flaunting and preening his feathers. Despite the fact that these birds are thought to be monogamous, certain males pair with several females.

·         Flamingos build a nest that resembles a mound of mud with a shallow hole at the end. The female only lays one 5-ounce egg in the cavity, and both parents alternate holding the egg warm before it hatches. The incubation time ranges from 27 to 31 days. The White ibis pigeon, which looks like a flamingo, has a 21-day incubation cycle.

·         The feathers of a baby flamingo do not turn entirely pink until they are around 2 years old. At about 11 weeks of age, the beak starts to curl inward.

·         A chick spends 5 days with its parents. Both parents feed the chick by releasing food from their stomachs into the mouth of the chick.

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