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American Flamingo - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Momo
Isla Floreana, Galapagos, Ecuador
Photo © by peterday
Caroni Swamp, Trinidad March 2024
Phoenicopterus ruber

Alternative name: Caribbean Flamingo


120-145 cm (49-58 inches). Deep pink- orange plumage, bill - black tip, red-orange middle, pale yellow near eye, long neck and legs, light yellow iris.

Juvenile is greyish overall, changing first to white and then as carotenoids from the food builds up, to the pink that the adults are known for.


Caribbean, Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula), coast of northern South America (only regular and better than rare in Venezuela, Suriname and possibly French Guiana), offshore islands such as Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, and Galapagos Islands (Ecuador). Within the Caribbean probably most numerous in Cuba and Bahamas, but also common on Hispaniola.


Often considered conspecific with the Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) of Europe, Asia, and Africa.

This is a monotypic species1.


Feeds in shallow lagoons, preferably with high salinity. As such they cannot breed every year in all colonies, as the lagoons can be too concentrated if the rain is lacking or too diluted in the opposite case.



Breeds in large colonies in nests consisting of mud compacted into a mound on top of which twigs are fixed with mud to form the nest, which is built by both sexes. 1 white egg is laid, and incubated by both parents for 27-31 days.


The diet includes small crustaceans, molluscs, and insects which are filtered from the water while the head is held upside down.



  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Colorado Education

External Links

Note: Results in photo search may include photos of Phoenicopterus roseus, which previously was considered a subspecies of this species (see Taxonomy).

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.