Facts about American flamingo
The American flamingo is the most common of the species. It inhabits mainly Central America, although it can also be found in Africa, Europe, and Asia. The American flamingos are known for their one-legged stance, in which they rest. In addition, they catch plankton using their upturned head and take naps by laying their head on their trunk. Fortunately, they do not encounter barbarism today, but in ancient Rome, they fell prey to hunters since their tongues were considered a delicacy.
1The American flamingo inhabits the islands and coasts of South and Central America.
It can be found in the Galapagos, Colombia and Venezuela’s coasts, the Yucatan peninsula’s northern coast, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, and the Virgin Islands. They also inhabit southern Louisiana, Florida and the Florida Keys archipelago.
2They are short-distance migratory birds.
Their journeys are driven mainly by searching for additional food sources or disturbing their current habitat.
3They are large wading birds reaching a body length of 120 to 145 cm.
Males are slightly larger than females, with an average weight of 2.8 kg, while females weigh an average of 2.2 kg. The wingspan of flamingos ranges between 140 and 165 cm.
4The vast majority of their plumage is pink.
Their wing covers are red, and the first and second-order ailerons are black. The legs and part of the mandible are also pink, while the end of the beak is black.
5They are wading birds that are helped in their search for food by their long legs.
They use their feet to chase down aquatic creatures, then fish them out with their beak. Flamingos often wade with their beaks underwater for long periods and can hold their breath for the duration of foraging.
6Because flamingos feed on food from salt water, they often drink seawater.
Their organisms have many mechanisms to help regulate osmosis—for example, salt glands on their beaks secreting brine, which is then removed through the nostrils.
7During the mating season, males seek females, but eventually, the choice is made by females.
Some individuals mate for the entire season, while others look for more partners. There are sometimes groups of a male and two females, in which one is dominant.
8Flamingos usually raise one brood a year.
They usually lay one egg - sometimes two. The egg measures 78 x 49 mm and weighs about 115g. It has an oblong shape resembling a hen’s egg and is white. Just after laying, the egg may have a light blue tint.
9At least one parent constantly watches the eggs.
An incubation period lasts 27 to 31 days. The hatching process takes 24 to 36 hours—the young break through the eggshell with a unique “tooth” that falls off soon after hatching.
10Freshly hatched flamingos are whitish or gray, with a straight red beak and pink legs.
Shortly after hatching, the chicks’ legs are swollen; the swelling subsides after about 48 hours. The beak colors black after about 1 to 1.5 weeks.