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Recognize this??. Kristen Henriksen 12/10/09. Flamingos:. Kingdom: Animal Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves Order: Phoenicopteriformes Family: Phoenicopteridae Genus: Phoenicopterus Species: ruber. Fast Facts:.

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Recognize this??

Kristen Henriksen 12/10/09



Kingdom: Animal

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Phoenicopteriformes

Family: Phoenicopteridae

Genus: Phoenicopterus

Species: ruber


Fast Facts:

Location: Africa, South America, India, Mediterranean and Caribbean regions

Habitat: Shallow salt lakes or lagoons

Food: Brine shrimp, brine flies, diatoms, copepods, algae

Resources: Unpredictable and variable

Predators: Humans, yellow-billed hawk, foxes

Social System: Live in colonies, form pair bonds

Mating System: Monogamy


Flamingos are found...

  • In the tropics and subtropics
  • In lagoons, marshes, and swamps
  • Preferably in salt water because of the better variety of food

You are what you eat...

  • Blue-green and red algae, diatoms, larval and adult forms of small insects, crustaceans, molluscs, and small fishes make up the main diet of flamingos.
  • A flamingo's pink or reddish feather color comes from its diet, which is high in alpha and beta-carotene. (People eat beta-carotene when they eat carrots)

A Flamingo's Diet:

The shape of flamingo's filtering bill determines its diet.

A flamingo will either have a shallow or a deep-keeled bill.


Method of eating...

  • Standing in shallow water, flamingos lower their necks and tilt their heads slightly upside-down, allowing their bills to hang upside-down facing backward in the water
  • Flamingos sweep their heads from side to side close to the surface of the water to collect their food if they have a deep-keeled mandible. If the mandible is shallow-keeled, a flamingo sweeps its head side to side deeper into the mud to collect its food
  • A flamingo filters its food out of the water and mud with a spiny, piston-like tongue that aids in sucking food-filled water past the lamellae inside the curved bill. The fringed lamellae filter out food, and the water is passed back out of the bill.
  • In addition to filtering food into the bill, lamellae also exclude foods that may be too large or small for the flamingo
  • Standing in water, flamingos may stamp their webbed feet to stir up food from the bottom.


  • Flamingos usually begin to breed at about 6 years of age.
  • Flamingo colonies normally breed once a year, and when they breed is based on the amount of rainfall and amount of food available.
  • Mating occurs in the water.
  • Female flamingos lay one egg at a time.
  • In 21 – 36 days the offspring hatches.

Flamingo’s Feathers:

  • There are 12 principal flight feathers located on each wing. These black feathers are visible when the wings are extended.
  • Flamingos have 12 to 16 tail feathers.
  • Flamingos molt (shed and replace) their wing and body feathers at irregular intervals ranging from twice a year to once every two years. The molt is related to the breeding cycle.
  • Molted feathers lose their color.

Flamingos spend most of the day feeding, preening, resting, and bathing.

  • Breeding birds feed day or night. Non-breeding birds feed at night and spend the day sleeping or involved in comfort activities, such as bathing.
  • Flamingos spend about 15% to 30% of their time during the day preening. This is a large percentage compared to waterfowl, which preen only about 10% of the time. Flamingos preen with their bills. An oil gland near the base of the tail secretes oil that the flamingo distributes throughout its feathers.
  • Flamingos swim readily and bathe in shallow fresh water submerging the whole body.



Flamingo vocalizations range from nasal honking to grunting or growling. Flamingos are generally very noisy birds.

Vocalizations play an important role in keeping flocks together as well as in ritualized displays. Specific calls are used in conjunction with certain behaviors.

Vocalizations are used in parent-chick recognition.

How they communicate:


Conservation of


  • No species of flamingo is listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
  • The Caribbean, greater, Chilean, Andean, and James' flamingos are listed in CITES Appendix II. This Appendix lists species that are in need of protection and are considered to be threatened —likely to become endangered if trade isn't regulated.
  • Caribbean, Chilean, and greater flamingos are protected under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act of 1918.

A Flamingo’s Lifespan

- Flamingos live from 20 to 30 years in their natural surroundings. They can survive even longer in captivity.

- In the wild, flamingos may live as long as 50 years if they are left undisturbed by humans and have enough to eat.


Flamingos Fly!

When flamingos migrate, they like to do their flying mainly at night. They prefer to have a cloudless sky and favorable tailwinds. They can travel approximately (373 miles) in one night at about 31-37 mph. When traveling during the day, the flamingos fly at high altitudes, possibly to avoid predation by eagles.