Animals & Attractions

We have a flock of flamingos 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. 

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.

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