Fun Flamingo Facts

  • Males and females make nests together by scooping mud together with their feet and bill.
  • All flamingos feed with their bills upside down. They tip their head into the water and filter feed, using special hair-like adaptations in the top half of their bill, to gather the microorganisms that make up their diet.
  • Chilean flamingos have a wingspan of 50-60 inches.
  • They are social birds that feed and nest together in flocks ranging from a few individuals to tens of thousands.
  • During flight, Chilean flamingos communicate with each other by loud honking, grunting, or howling that is similar to the sounds geese make.
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The pink color of a Chilean flamingo’s feathers comes from nutrients in their food, which includes shrimp, plankton, algae and crustaceans. At the Zoo, we give them a special diet to keep them ‘in the pink.’ It takes two to three years for chicks to turn that distinctive color.

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Toe Walkers

What people commonly think are the flamingos’ knees are their ankles – their knees and hips are hidden under their body feathers. Their foot bones extend downward from the ankle, so they are actually walking on their tip-toes.

Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List has listed Chilean flamingos as “Near Threatened” as a precaution. Populations are declining at a moderate rate due to egg-harvesting, hunting, and the disturbance and degradation of the species’ habitat.

Use Biodegradable Detergent

When standard detergents run off into lakes and streams, they encourage rapid insect and algae growth which can have a negative impact on native species. By using biodegradable detergent, you are helping to keep waterways clean and healthy for the animals that call them home.