Chilean Flamingo

March 4th, 2010 Posted in fauna

Written by Shanie

The Chilean Flamingo is a sweet pink surprise throughout South America. Known to frequent temperate climates from Peru to Argentina, this medium size cotton-candy colored bird enjoys flying and swimming.

One of 5 flamingo species, the Chilean Flamingo is a showy bird that travels in giant packs of thousands. All of the kindred species share characteristics such as enjoying marshy, wet landscapes rich in diatoms, seeds, blue-green algae, crustaceans, and mollusks (the component that determines the shade of pink to their feathers). They also like spending their days stomping away on the muddy or sandy bottom of their chosen feeding area, stirring up sediments as it brings nutritional substance to the surface. They then filter out the goodies from the water with their finger-like filtering system within their bill.

Their mating schedule is not a yearly occurrence, although the larger group decides to go into heat at the same time. At the age of six, the bird can choose to interact in a mating phenomenon that has no bearing on season, and is thought to have more to do with rain cycles. When it is time to choose a sex partner, the assembly of pink fauna become a dance of cat calls, over-the-shoulder glances and long-legged birds strutting their stuff, literally. Once a suitable partner has been chosen the two will work together for around six weeks on a volcano-style nest that is home to one ashy-white egg. The egg will incubate for around 30 days.

Upon hatching the little guy will hang out in the nest for four to seven days. During this time the parents are strict about helping only their bloodline…they know who’s child is who’s by the sound of the bird’s call. Once it is time to leave home, they are then known as fledglings. The group of young come together at this point, given assistance by a few adults that act as daycare.

In contrast to most birds, flamingos don’t feed their fledglings by regurgitation, instead they use a nutritious milky substance called Crop Milk. Initiated by the hormone prolactin, both male and female flamingos are able to produce a thick red concoction rich in proteins and fat in the upper intestinal track that is fed to the babies.

  1. 3 Responses to “Chilean Flamingo”

  2. By Will on Mar 7, 2010

    Nice Shanie! I especially like the two that are making out in the third photo down.

  3. By Patagonia on Mar 7, 2010

    Thanks Will! Did you get to see any of these guys when you were down here?


  4. By Laundry Detergent on May 19, 2012

    Those who are interested how some top tasters comment a blind tasting, just look at YOUTUBE :

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