The Caribbean Flamingo (aka American Flamingo) (Phoenicopterus ruber) is a large species of flamingo closely related to the Greater Flamingo and Chilean Flamingo. It is the only flamingo which naturally inhabits North America.
Flamingos live near water, where they use their long legs to wade deeper than most water birds. The birds often stand on one leg to conserve body heat. They may spend up to a third of their day preening, which spreads oil evenly over their feathers for waterproofing. They can travel long distances, more than 300 miles a day, to get to different feeding sites.
During the breeding season, flamingos gather in huge colonies that range in size from about 5,000 to 100,000 birds, depending on the location and year. The birds perform displays to attract a mating partner, dancing in a sequence of moves. They might march, flag their outstretched heads back and forth, or salute with spread wings. Outside of the breeding season, flamingos live in groups of anywhere from just a dozen to several hundred birds.
Stay tuned. Video coming soon!
Here are a few fun facts:
- Their call is a goose-like honking.
- Certain algae are chock-full of carotenoid pigments, which give the birds their signature pink coloring.
- The birds need to run a few steps into the wind to take off during flight.
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