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Scientific Name:
Phoenicopterus chilensis

Conservation Status:
Vulnerable

Where to see them:
Flamingo Plaza

Fun Facts:

Flamingos can live more than 50 years.

The “knee” is actually the ankle. The knee itself is much higher on the leg.

There are six species of flamingos, and three of these come from high in the cold Andes mountains of South America.

Flamingo, Chilean

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Watch a flamingo keeper talk
Size
Height is 4 feet; weight is 4 to 6 pounds.

Range
Chilean flamingos breed in the Andes Mountains of South America and winter at lower elevations in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

Habitat
Open lakes

Lifestyle
Flamingos live in huge flocks in the wild. All species are found primarily on large open areas of water that have shallow edges where the birds feed. They have very long lives and form long-term pair bonds.

Food
Diet varies by species and is based on algae, plankton, small crustaceans and aquatic life. Chilean flamingos feed by drawing water through their beaks and extracting the food by means of small filters on the sides of their lower mandibles. This is a similar system to that used by baleen whales.

Life Cycle
The parents build conical nest mounds by pulling small pieces of mud and dirt into a pile and continuously adding to this mound. Once the mound is built, it has a slight depression on the top where the single egg is laid. Parents share the incubation duties, and incubation is 30 days. Chicks weigh about 3 ounces at birth and can barely stand. The parents remain sitting on the nest for the first few days and protect their chick from danger. They feed the chick by regurgitating a fluid from their crops (stomach).

Some of My Neighbors (IN THE WILD)
Waterfowl, vicunas and guanacos, maras, condors

Population Status & Threats
Chilean flamingos are vulnerable in the wild because of loss of breeding and wintering wetlands, disturbance at nest areas and collection of eggs for food.

Zoo Atlanta Conservation Efforts
Zoo Atlanta has provided financial support in 2008 and 2009 to a non-governmental organization in Bolivia that protects nesting sites and works with local people to educate them about the importance of preserving their wetlands while helping their agriculture.