Phoenicopteridae (Chilean Flamingo)
HABITAT AND RANGE
The flamingo’s most characteristic habitats are large alkaline or saline lakes or estuarine lagoons that usually lack vegetation. Lakes may be far inland or near the sea.
Chilean Flamingo’s are pink in color with yellow eyes and black, pinkish, or cream colored bills. They range from 3.3-4.6 feet tall and usually weigh 3.3-9 pounds. The wingspan can reach 3.3-5 feet. Their legs are longer than their bodies and they have long necks for maximum movement and twisting.
They have shallow-keeled bills to feed on insects, aquatic invertebrates, and small fishes.
REPRODUCTION AND LIFESPAN
Flamingos reach sexual maturity several years after hatching and usually begin to breed at about six years of age. Breeding seems to occur at any time throughout the year, and flamingos may breed twice in a year. However, they may not breed every year. Breeding and nest building may depend on rainfall and its effect on food supply. Experts have not yet determined how long flamingos live. They have only estimated 20-30 years in the wild.
Flamingos are very social birds. Breeding colonies of a few individual flamingos are rare, while colonies of tens of thousands of birds are common. Flamingo vocalizations range from nasal honking to grunting or growling. Flamingos are generally very noisy birds. Flight speed of a flock of flamingos can reach 50 to 60 kph (31-37 mph).