The Chilean flamingo is smaller and paler than most of its relatives, and is accustomed to a more temperate climate than Caribbean flamingos. These birds are native to South America and may even inhabit high altitude lakes in the Andes Mountains.
Range & Habitat
Chilean flamingos are found in South America in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru, with some wintering in Uruguay and Brazil.
Conservation Status: Near Threatened
There are no more than 200,000 Chilean flamingos in the wild. Their population is declining due to habitat loss and degradation, harvesting and human disturbance.
In the Wild -- Algae, diatoms, brine flies, shrimp, mollusks, insects, small fishes, crustaceans and larvae.
At the Zoo -- Mazuri flamingo pellets.
Fun Facts about the Chilean Flamingo
- Flamingos get their pink coloring from a carotenoid pigment consumed through their food.
- Flamingos belong to one of the oldest bird groups alive. Their fossil records date back to the Miocene period about 10 million years ago.
- Their bill is adapted for their unique feeding method. They hold it upside down in the water and move it back and forth, filtering out minute organisms through special comb-like adaptations, essentially using it as a sieve.
Busch Entertainment Corporation, Chilean flamingo. Retrieved October 27, 2006, from SeaWorld/Busch Gardens ANIMALS Web site: http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/flamingos/
Phoenix Zoo (2006). Chilean flamingo phoenicopterus chilensis. Retrieved October 25, 2006. Web site: http://www.phoenixzoo.org/learn/animals/animal_detail.aspx?FACT_SHEET_ID=100009
San Francisco Zoo (2006). Animals chilean flamingo phoenicopterus chilensis. Retrieved October 27, 2006. Web site: http://www.sfzoo.org/cgi-bin/animals.py?ID=28