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American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

History in Managed Care

History with San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

  • 1932: First American Flamingos become part of the San Diego Zoo's collections
  • 1957: First American Flamingo hatches at San Diego Zoo
  • April 2003: San Diego Zoo opens its newly renovated Flamingo Lagoon


Most common species found in managed care

  • America, Chilean, and Greater


  • Often will not engage in breeding displays if not part of a large enough colony.
  • The color of plumage is an important breeding cue
    • Faded flamingos in managed care often do not breed.
    • Without the proper diet, flamingos lose their color and/or become ill. 
    • San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance provides a special diet to ensure proper health
  • Breeding season more consistent in zoos than in the wild
    • Chicks usually hatch May to July

Flamingo Health Checks

Flamingos are gathered for a health check-up at the San Diego Zoo.

© San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Diamant (1997)
Elphick, et al. (2001)
Friedmann (2003)
Muller (1983)

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