American Flamingo

American Flamingo


The Caribbean sea coast





Latin Name

Phoenicopterus ruber

IUCN conservation status

Characterized by their flamboyant pink plumage, flamingos get their colour from the food they eat.

Aquatic Invertebrates Rich in Carotenoids

The pigments in their food give their feathers their beautiful pink colour. Flamingos have "comblike plates" on their beaks, covered with small bristles that filter the water and trap aquatic invertebrates. This fishing technique is similar to that used by baleen whales.

A Balancing Act Able to Stand on One Leg

To limit muscle fatigue, flamingos stand on one leg when resting. When they fold the second leg, they position it in the centre, under their body. This causes the body to relax and tilt slightly, resulting in a shift of the hips and knee: the flamingos are then perfectly stable.

The Ups and Downs of Living in Large Colonies

Flamingos migrate, feed, breed and rest in groups. It is extremely rare to see groups of less than 20 individuals. In fact, their numbers run into the thousands and even millions! On the other hand, such close proximity can lead to neighbour disputes, especially when it comes to choosing a nesting site.

Fragile Habitats that Need to Be Protected

It's estimated that there are between 80,000 and 90,000 flamingos living in the wild. While populations are relatively stable, wetlands, where flamingos roam, are largely disrupted by human activities, which could affect these magnificent birds over the years.

Other animals from South America