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Animals & Attractions

Chilean Flamingo

We have over 30 flamingos in our flock at Edinburgh Zoo. To ensure they have their natural pink colour they are fed on a diet of pellets which have been specially formulated with the dietary colours needed for the flamingos to stay ‘in the pink’. The pellets also float in water and gradually sink, providing the birds with opportunities to use all their natural foraging behaviours.

Location in the Zoo:

The Chilean flamingo enclosure is on the right-hand side as you enter the park. The flamingos share their enclosure with the scarlet ibis.

Find out more

Status

Not Endangered NE
Data Deficient DD
Least Concern LC
Near Threatened NT
Vulnerable VU
Endangered EN
Critically Endangered CR
Extinct in the wild EW
Extinct EX

Near Threatened

For more info on classifications visit www.iucnredist.org

Size

Relative to 6ft (2m) man Relative to 6ft (2m) man

Population

200000
to300000
IUCN July 2014

Habitat

  • Rivers and Wetlands

    Rivers and Wetlands

Diet

Omnivore Omnivore
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In The Wild

The Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) breeds in central Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, and possibly in Paraguay. They winter in Uruguay and Brazil.

There are 6 species of flamingo around the world. The Chilean flamingo is a pale salmon-pink colour and can be identified easily by its grey legs and pink knees and feet. It is closely related to 2 other species of flamingo, the paler greater flamingo and the much brighter Caribbean flamingo.

All flamingos share a number of characteristics: they are all pink, taking their colour from the tiny crustaceans and algae which they eat. They all have a peculiar-looking beak, which is designed to float upside down in the water and filter out their food. They all lay a single chalky-white egg on a tall mud nest. They can all inhabit inhospitable saline and soda lakes which other animals simply cannot tolerate.

The number of Chilean flamingos in the wild is declining due to habitat destruction, egg-harvesting, and hunting.

Chilean Flamingo - Main Panel

Five fluffy arrivals

Five Chilean flamingo chicks have been spotted testing the water and standing on one foot at Edinburgh Zoo after the final chick slid down off its nest last week. Keepers welcomed the arrival of the chicks with open, muddy arms - especially after getting stuck in the mud earlier in the year helping to build nests and encourage the flock to breed - with a few even hatching from their eggs in front of delighted Zoo visitors.

The little grey balls of fluff are now aged between three and seven weeks old - the first hatched on 19 August 2014 and the final on 15 September 2014 – and add to Edinburgh Zoo’s flock of 33 adults.

We have been the home to Chilean flamingos for over 40 years and the well-established flock now has 38 including the new chicks and the oldest residents in the Zoo - three 53 year old males.



Meet our flamingo chicks...

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