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Pink Flamingo

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Pink Flamingo

Fact about the Pink Flamingo

Family: Phoenicopteridae
Height: 1.2 to 1.45 m
Weight: 2.5 to 3.5 kg
Wingspan: 1.4 to 1.7 m
Sexual maturity: 3 years

  • Elongated profile
  • Curved bill is pink with black tip
  • Pink plumage
  • Black wingtips
  • Long pink legs with webbed feet

The Pink Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is a wading bird famous for its grace and beauty. It is found around the perimeter of the Mediterranean Sea, in Central Asia and in southern Africa. Another species of pink flamingo is native to Central and South America.

Salt water dweller

Flamants rosesThe life of the Pink Flamingo is closely tied to the presence of water, generally shallow areas such as lagoons and coastal marshes with a high salt concentration and teeming with small organisms.



Filter feeder

To find food, the Pink Flamingo digs with its curved bill in the sediment-laden water, where it gathers a variety of aquatic plants and invertebrates such as algae, protozoa, shellfish and insects. The lamellae attached to the inside of its bill function as a filter, allowing the bird to expel the water while retaining nutrients in its mouth.

Special diet

Since few animals are attracted to waters with a high salt concentration, the Pink Flamingo reigns unchallenged in its feeding zones. However, being specialized makes it highly dependent and vulnerable. If changes in its habitat deprive it of its regular food source, it is unable to adapt, even temporarily, to another diet.

Vibrant plumage

The plumage of the Pink Flamingo is unique in the animal world. The color of the feathers covering the bird’s body can be various shades of pink, while the wings are darker-coloured and bordered by a black fringe. Ingestion of small shellfish rich in carotene, such as shrimp, gives the plumage its outstanding pink radiance.

Powerful wings

Flamant roseThe height and weight of this large bird require it to run while beating its wings to take flight. Once airborne, it lifts its legs and straightens its neck like an arrow. Thanks to its powerful wings, the bird can fly at speeds up to 60 km/h and travel hundreds of kilometres without having to land.

Crowded colonies

The Pink Flamingo, which nests in teeming colonies, habitually sleeps standing on one leg with its head tucked into its feathers. During the weeks leading up to nesting season, hundreds and sometimes thousands of pairs engage in an elaborate courtship ritual, during which they entwine their long necks.

Shared parenting

Shortly after mating, both male and female build a nest in a marshy area. The female lays a single egg on a mound of mud safe from predators. Over the following month, the parents take turns incubating the egg until it hatches.

First flight

Ten days after birth, the chick leaves the nest under the close surveillance of the parents. Both parents secrete nourishing crop milk, which they regurgitate into the chick’s mouth. At about two months of age, once its bill has fully curved downward, the young flamingo becomes capable of feeding itself, and also begins to fly. The pink colour in the feathers does not appear until its first birthday.

Fragile waterfowl

Flamants rosesWhile the Pink Flamingo has few natural predators, the eggs and chicks sometimes fall prey to other birds. This impressive but fragile bird is vulnerable to changes in its habitat. Pollution, habitat loss and habitat degradation are the primary threats facing this species. Harsh winter weather, which can sometimes take non-migrating birds by surprise, can also devastate colonies.

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