Common name: American Flamingo
Scientific name: Phoenicopterus ruber

At the zoo: A flock of 19 American Flamingos and 1 Chilean Flamingo named Chili - Chili is slightly smaller and paler than the others

Habitat:
American flamingos are native to the Caribbean and surrounding coastlines and islands, and Galapagos.

Diet:
Fish, insects, mollusks, aquatic worms, and crustaceans
Flamingo beaks have evolved to facilitate their specialized feeding method. They are lined with filters to strain food from the water.

Life Expectancy:
20 years

Conservation Status: Least concern

Biology:
The Flamingo's long legs and webbed feet stir up the water bringing potential food closer to the surface making it easier to access. The Flamingo's signature colour is a result of their diet. Just like eating too many carrots would turn you orange, their diet is rich in a mineral called beta-carotene, resulting in their distinct pink-orange colour.

American flamingos live in flocks that can number thousands of birds. During breeding season, they perform courtship displays as a group to ensure all members mate and lay their eggs at the same time. 

The American flamingo has a large population size throughout its range, and their population trend is increasing, but they do face the threat of habitat destruction in coastal wetlands due to human disturbances.

Fun Fact:
Did you know that unlike other birds, Flamingos require a running start in order to fly? This momentum is needed because of their large size and tall, awkward shape.