Chilean Flamingo

Phoenicopterus chilensis

Chilean flamingos are found in the Andes Mountains in Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia where they inhabit highland lakes. This is the most numerous and widespread flamingo in South America. It occurs in flocks that may range in numbers from a few individuals to tens of thousands. The Chilean species is smaller and paler than its relatives. The knob at the center of the leg is often mistaken for the knee, but it is the ankle. Experts have not yet determined how long flamingos live. At the Philadelphia Zoo a flamingo lived to be 44 years old.

Flamingos get their beautiful orange-pink color from the crustaceans they eat. In zoos they are usually fed substances which contain special dyes in order to retain their color, or else they would turn white!

The above picture was taken at the Louisville zoo, in May 2001.

Family Phoenicopteridae
Order Ciconiiformes
Class Aves
Subphylum Vertebrata
Phylum Chordata
Kingdom Animalia
Life on Earth