The American flamingo is one in every of 4 flamingo species discovered within the Americas, and the one flamingo discovered within the USA, the place it inhabits coastal and wetland habitats in Southern Florida.
Learn on for an entire information to this distinctive species…
What Is An American Flamingo?
The American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is one in every of six species of flamingo, wading birds recognized for his or her putting pink plumage, lengthy neck and legs, curved beaks, and “upside-down” filter-feeding habits.
Native to the Caribbean, elements of Central and South America and Southern Florida, the American flamingo is the one flamingo species naturally current in North America.
The species inhabits salty lagoons and shallow coastal waters, the place it feeds totally on algae, crustaceans, and different small organisms.
The American flamingo’s distinctive pink coloring is a results of its weight loss plan; the carotenoid pigments within the crustaceans and algae eaten by the fowl are damaged down and deposited in its feathers and pores and skin.
A extremely social species, the American flamingo lives in flocks that may include hundreds of people.
American Flamingo Stats
- Scientific Title: Phoenicopterus ruber
- Different Names: Caribbean Flamingo
- Order: Phoenicopteriformes
- Household: Phoenicopteridae
- Peak: 1.1 to 1.5 meters (3.6 to 4.9 toes)
- Wingspan: 1.4 to 1.65 meters (4.6 to five.4 toes)
- Weight: 2 to three.6 kg (4.4 to eight lb)
- The place discovered: Caribbean, elements of Central and South America, southern Florida
- IUCN conservation standing (as of August 2023): Least Concern
The American flamingo is a tall, elegant fowl with putting pink plumage that varies in depth from pale rose to vivid coral. Its lengthy neck helps a proportionally small head with a downward-curving, pale invoice that’s pink on the base and black on the tip.
The fowl’s slender legs are pink, and finish in webbed toes. Its eyes are encased in a yellow ring.
The American flamingo’s black flight feathers are largely hidden when the fowl isn’t in flight, however are clearly seen when the wings are open, showing as a thick black band alongside the again fringe of the wing.
(Flight feathers are the lengthy, specialised feathers on the outer a part of a fowl’s wing that present carry and thrust.)
When in flight, the flamingo’s legs path behind the physique, extending past the size of its tail.
American Flamingo Name
The decision of the American flamingo is usually described as a goose-like honking, which is resonant and may be fairly loud.
The place Are American Flamingos Discovered?
The American flamingo predominantly occupies the Caribbean area, the place it may be present in quite a few islands and coastal areas. International locations such because the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Turks and Caicos Islands are among the many species’ prime habitats.
The American flamingo additionally inhabits areas of Central America, particularly alongside the northern coasts of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and the coastal areas of Belize. In South America, the species’ vary consists of coastal areas of Colombia and Venezuela, elements of Brazil, and the Galápagos Islands.
Often, particularly throughout breeding season or as a result of disruptions in its major habitats, the American flamingo could be noticed within the southernmost elements of Florida within the U.S., making it the one flamingo species discovered naturally in North America. The species is current within the Everglades and the Florida Keys.
Habitats most well-liked by the American flamingo embrace salty lagoons, mudflats, shallow coastal waters, and salt flats. In addition to being wealthy in vitamins, these habitats additionally provide a comparatively low risk from predators, and their saline or hyper-saline circumstances scale back competitors from different wading birds.
Meals availability is a big issue within the American flamingo’s alternative of dwelling; if there are inadequate sources, the flamingo will transfer to a different space.
American Flamingo Food plan & Feeding
The American flamingo is an omnivore that primarily feeds on algae, crustaceans (together with brine shrimp), seeds, and different small aquatic organisms similar to mollusks, fish, and bugs.
Like all flamingos, the American flamingo’s beak is customized for filter feeding. Lamellae (comb-like buildings) current within the invoice sieve tiny organisms out of the water. Whereas feeding, the flamingo turns its head the other way up within the water, transferring it aspect to aspect to assemble and filter meals.
The carotenoid pigments present in most of the organisms eaten by the flamingo, significantly brine shrimp and blue-green algae, are answerable for giving the fowl its distinctive pink hue.
American Flamingo Household And Associated Species
The American flamingo is one in every of six flamingo species, and one of many 4 flamingos current within the Americas. Collectively, the six flamingos make up the household Phoenicopteridae, which is the one extant household of order Phoenicopteriformes.
The six flamingo species are listed under, along with their scientific title, vary, and conservation standing (as of August 2023).
- Higher Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), The place Discovered: Africa, southern Europe, and elements of Asia, Conservation Standing: Least Concern
- Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor), The place Discovered: Sub-Saharan Africa and elements of India, Conservation Standing: Close to Threatened
- Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis), The place Discovered: South America, particularly in Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia, Conservation Standing: Close to Threatened
- James’s Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus jamesi) (often known as the Puna Flamingo), The place Discovered: Excessive-altitude areas of Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina, Conservation Standing: Close to Threatened
- Andean Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus andinus), The place Discovered: Excessive-altitude areas of Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina, Conservation Standing: Weak
- American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) (often known as the Caribbean Flamingo), The place Discovered: Caribbean, elements of Central and South America, Southern Florida, Conservation Standing: Least Concern
American Flamingo Life Cycle
Breeding depends on rainfall, which ensures that sufficient meals is obtainable for rising chicks.
The American flamingo is understood for its elaborate courtship show, which consists of synchronized strolling, head-turning and bobbing, wing opening, and preening, typically carried out by massive numbers of people on the identical time.
Mating takes place after the show has been carried out to the satisfaction of each companions. The feminine American flamingo lays a single chalky white egg on a mud mound, which each dad and mom take turns incubating. This incubation interval usually lasts between 28 to 32 days.
The freshly-hatched chick has a straight invoice, which can develop its attribute curve because the fowl matures. The chick is roofed in a grey or white down and is totally depending on its dad and mom for meals.
The flamingo’s attribute pink colour solely seems after two to 3 years because of a weight loss plan wealthy in carotenoids.
For the primary few days after hatching, the chick is fed a nutrient-rich secretion often known as “crop milk,” which is produced by each dad and mom. The milk accommodates fat, proteins, and different important vitamins that assist the fowl develop quickly throughout its preliminary days.
As soon as in a position to stroll, the chick will go away the quick care of its dad and mom and be a part of a creche, consisting of all of a flock’s younger. People proceed to be fed by their dad and mom.
Because the chick grows, its down feathers start to get replaced by juvenile feathers. At about 10 to 12 weeks, the toddler flamingo is able to flight.
The American flamingo reaches sexual maturity at round 3 to five years of age.
American Flamingo Lifespan
The lifespan of the American flamingo is as much as 40 years, though, the common lifespan tends to be shorter as a result of predation and different pure threats.
Is The American Flamingo Endangered?
The American flamingo isn’t an endangered species; its present IUCN conservation standing is Least Concern.
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