Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber) Fact Sheet, 2003
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Species: P. ruber
Plumage: Bright orange/pink; rump, head, neck, wing coverts slightly darker; black flight feathers.
Beak: Sharply downcurved; lower bill thicker; numerous keratinous plates serve as filter feeding mechanism.
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Range: N. Caribbean (Cuba, Hispaniola, Bahamas); S. Caribbean Yukatan, N. coast of South America from Colombia to French Guiana, Venezuelan islands, Bonaire); Yucatan peninsula, Galapagos islands.
Habitat: saline lagoons; muddy, shallow lakes.
IUCN Status: Least Concern ver 3.1
CITES Appendix: Appendix II
Population in Wild: approximately 260,000-330,000
Migration: Generally non-migratory. Those that do, migrate between summer breeding grounds and winter feeding grounds.
Activity Cycle: Feeding, preening, resting, courtship; feeding is highest right before mating season.
Social Groups: Huge colonies; must be in large groups to breed.
Diet: Filter invertebrates, algae, and plant material out of shallow water and mud.
Predators: Racoons, marguay, jaguar, humans, birds of prey.
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
Sexual Maturity: 3-6 years
Courtship: Group breeding displays lead to synchronous breeding; monogamous pairing for several seasons.
Clutch Size: 1 egg
Nest: Cone-shaped mound of mud with scooped-out top; shallow moat excavated around nest.
Hatchlings: Leave nest after 5-8 days; form creches (large numbers of chicks cared for by a smal number or adults).
Fledglings: 9-13 weeks
Longevity: Unknown in the wild; have lived 40-60 years in captivity.
Feature Facts: Oldest cave painting of flamingo dated at 5000 BC, from Spain. Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol of flamingo denotes the color red. Historically confused with the legendary Phoenix. The tongue was considered a delicacy in Roman times.
San Diego Zoo Global: 1932: San Diego Zoo obtains first Caribbean flamingos; 1957: First Caribbean flamingo hatches at the zoo; April 2003: newly renovated Flamingo Lagoon opens; flamingos start building nest within 3 days.
About This Fact Sheet
© 2003-2016 San Diego Zoo Global. Updated 2015. Tanonomy update 2016.
How to cite: Caribbean Flamingo (Pheonicopterus ruber) Fact Sheet, 2003. c2003-2016. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/caribbeanflamingo.
(Note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)
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