Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Chilean Flamingo

Scientific Name

Phoenicopterus chilensis

Class

Aves

Order

Phoenicopteriformes

Range

From Brazil and Peru in the north through Argentina in the south

Habitat

Coastal mudflats, estuaries, lagoons, and salt lakes

Estimated Wild Population

300,000
Chilean flamingo in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Near Threatened IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Near Threatened

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Physical Description

With tall, thin legs and a long, flexible neck, Chilean flamingos can reach up to 40 inches in height. They live in large flocks in the wild and require crowded conditions to stimulate breeding. During breeding season, males and females display a variety of behaviors to attract mates, including swiveling their heads from side to side and repeatedly spreading their wings. Upon birth, chicks have gray plumage; they don't gain adult coloration for up to three years.

Interesting Fact 1

Both male and female Chilean flamingos feed their young with a self-produced, milk-like secretion called crop milk.

Interesting Fact 2

Chilean flamingos get their pink plumage from their carotenoid-rich diet.

Interesting Fact 3

Thanks to their ability to tolerate extreme conditions, like the elevated altitude in the Andes, Chilean flamingos are well-suited for Chicago’s harsh winters.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

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Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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