Chilean flamingo

Found in Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Peru and Argentina the Chilean flamingo are one of the larger flamingo species. 

They just love the warm, tropical climate that south America has to offer.

That's why we've also provided them with a heated pool house. Lucky flamingos!

With their distinctive pink feathers, long spindly legs and the ability to stand on one leg for up to four hours our Chilean flamingos are instantly recognisable.

Did you know that when a flamingo chick is born, it isn’t pink at all? In fact it’s a dull grey colour. The familiar pink colour comes from their diet. Their natural diet would consist of mainly algae, shrimp and plankton. All these have what they call 'carotenoid' (the same pigment which makes carrots orange). It's this pigment, or colouring, that turns flamingos pink.

Conservation

Flamingo numbers have gone down in the last fifty years or so. The main reasons for this are changes in their habitat, increased hunting and environmental factors too.

Chilean flamingo questions and answers

What is a group of flamingos called?
There are many names which describe a large gathering of flamingos. They're sometimes referred to as a stand of flamingos. Or how about a regiment or a colony? All good but here at Folly Farm have a particular favourite and it’s this – a flamboyance of flamingos…we think that sums them up nicely, don’t you?

How many eggs do they lay?
They lay only one egg a year.

Why is their beak shaped like that?
It’s designed that way so they can filter feed in the water. They actually hold it upside down to filter out the small bits of food in the water and it actually looks like they are ‘nibbling’ the surface.

How tall can flamingos get?
Our Chilean flamingos can reach a height of about 130cm (51 inches) whereas the greater flamingo is the largest flamingo in the world and they can grow up to 187cm (74 inches) tall.

So why do they stand on one leg?
Well…there’s lots of people with lots of different theories on this but the one that we accept the most is that they do it in order to save energy and preserve body heat.

Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.