Common name: Chilean Flamingo

Scientific name: Phoenicopterus chilensis

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves 

Order: Phoenicopteriformes

Family: Phoenicopteridae

Genius: Phoenicopterus

Species: P. chilensis

Phoenicopterus chilensis…. your probably thinking what is that? It is the scientific term for the Chilean flamingo.  The Chilean flamingo is a beautiful bird, mostly pink and white colored, and lives in South America.  Wondering more about this bird?  Keep reading.

 

The Chilean flamingo is found in temperate South America from central Peru to Tierra del Fuego. This bird loves to live in warm tropical environments around warm, shallow lakes up to 4,500m high in the Andes. Most of these flamingos have small heads, long necks in proportion to their bodies, bare faces, and long legs which all helps them like there feet help them stay secure in the mud. Their long necks help them reach tough things. These flamingos have a wingspan of 127 to 153 cm and weigh between 2.5 and 3.5 kg. These birds are 79 to 145 cm tall mostly because their knees are always bent.

 

This type of bird population is very low. Only 200,000 remain. Their population is decreasing mostly because of all the recreational hunting humans do, though some people like to eat this bird. These birds are trying to grow their population, but it is hard when their eggs keep getting harvested. Gulls are also predators to these flamingos because they like their eggs.

 

This bird is usually at the top of the food chain. They eat invertebrates and some algae while competing with fish for the same food. This flamingo eats by sweeping their heads side to side, close to the water’s surface to obtain their food. Chilean flamingos feed mainly on invertebrates that live in the bottom of the mud. Some of these animals are brine flies, shrimps, and mollusks.

 

Some cool facts about this bird are that they communicate with other birds by yelling loud goose-like calls. These birds stand on one leg to conserve body heat and they tuck their heads under a wing to also conserve body heat. This animal does not have a good sense of smell.

 

As you can see this bird is pretty amazing. It is a very rare bird, it is a healthy bird, and it pretty. I hope that you learned something new about the Phoenicopterus chilensis, because I know I did while typing this report.

 

Author: Matthew L.

Published: 3/2010

 

Sources:

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Phoenicopterus_chilensis.html

http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Phoenicopterus_chilensis.html

http://www.akronzoo.com/learn/chilean_flamingo.asp