American flamingo (Caribbean Flamingo) - one pink exotic in the ZOO Antwerpen

Order: Phoenicopteriformes             Family: Phoenicopteridae             Genus: Phoenicopterus
Binom. name (Species): Phoenicopterus ruber (Caribbean Flamingo); in Linnaeus since 1758.

One amazing view there is in the Zoo Antwerp. These are the very graceful and a little strange pink flamingos. They are a big attraction for the visitors to the zoo garden. Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) is a large species of flamingo also known as the Greater Flamingo and is the only flamingo that inhabits North America in the wild nature. The American flamingo is spread mainly in the coastal area of the Caribbean basin and Gulf of Mexico. Habitats which prefers are the salty lagoons, coastal shoals and shallow coastal or inland lakes. It can be found in Yucatán, in the ecological reserve "Petenes mangroves", Mexico.

The American flamingo is a large marsh bird and has reddish-pink plumage with a reddish tinge on the legs. Has a black elongated beak and white spots in front of the head. In the period from May to August it lays only a single white egg. The incubation period to the hatching is from 28 to 32 days. Both parents grown the young until they reach the age of maturity, which is usually up to 6 years. And something very curious: these birds have one of the biggest life expectancy. It reaches to 40 years! The adults American flamingos reach a height of 120 to 145 cm and weigh an average of 2.2 to about 2.8 kg. The prevailing plumage is pink, the feathers of the wings are red, the legs are entirely pink.

The American flamingo is usually monogamous when choosing a nest during the incubation and rearing, but often have populations of couples, trios and quartets. Some birds have a long-term partner throughout the year, while others form pairs during periods of courtship and nesting. They can sleep standing on one leg and find their food nearby. The American flamingo looking for food in shallow water. It has a long, very thin legs that end in webbed feet to be able to roam on the bottom and retrieve food by means of dipping their heads into the water and pulling it from the bottom with their long beaks. In the nature, American flamingos find  their food in warm, shallow and salty coastal marine waters or salty lagoons. These are migratory birds of short distances to secure the food when the conditions in their main habitats are changed.

There are six main types of flamingos. According to ITIS the taxonomy of flamingos is: Phoeniconaias minor (Lesser flamingo), Phoenicoparrus andinus (Andean flamingo), Phoenicoparrus jamesi (James' flamingo or puna flamingo), Phoenicopterus chilensis (Chilean flamingo), Phoenicopterus roseus (Greater flamingo), Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean flamingo).

The Phoenicopterus ruber is under the special protection of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA).

Related images

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Phoenicopterus ruber (American flamingo or Caribbean Flamingo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Related links

http://www.flamingos-world.com/

http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/7D.html

http://www.zooantwerpen.be/nl/nieuws/flamingos-teruggekeerd-naar-hun-vertrouwde-stek

http://www.arkive.org/caribbean-flamingo/phoenicopterus-ruber/image-G37780.html