Latin name: Phoenicopterus ruber
- Its beautiful pink colour comes from the carotene pigments contained in its small crustaceans-based diet. The feathers aren't its only pink feature: even the yolk of its eggs is pinkish red.
- It feeds through filtration. The beak, with its distinctive bend, is unique to flamingos. The lower and upper mandibles are curbed downward and the inside edges of the beak are covered by small bristles that keep the food inside their mouth.
- At birth, chicks are covered with white down, progressively replaced by grey feathers. Pink plumage only appears at 12 to 18 months of age.
- Very resistant to its harsh environment, it can endure outside temperatures of 68°C, wade in alkaline water (pH 11) and drink water that is near the boiling point.
- The wetlands, in which it dwells, are threatened by development and human disruptions. Fortunately, the populations are still plentiful and numbers even seem to be increasing.
Distribution Caribbean sea coastlines
Status Least concern
Zoo Zone Africa