Flamingos are tall, exotic birds that are often used as a symbol of the tropics. Flamingos are water wading birds that live in colonies of thousands. They range in color from pale pink to brilliant, deep pinks or orange. They stand anywhere from 36 to 50 inches tall. The flamingo has long thin legs and a long curved neck. They have a distinctive bill which curves downward with a black tip. Read on to find out more about the distribution and habitat of these iconic birds.
Where do flamingos live?
There are six species of flamingo in the world, four of these species live in the Americas and the two other species live in Europe, Asia and Africa. All flamingos live in habitats that are similar and they prefer salty, muddy waterways such as coastal lagoons, estuarine rivers and mudflats. They also like shallow, brackish bodies of water inland.
The greater flamingo lives in parts of Africa, south Europe and southern Asia. It is the most widespread of the flamingo species. The greater flamingo lives in mudflats and shallow, saltwater, coastal lagoons. The lesser flamingo is the most numerous flamingo and lives in lakes and dams in Africa and along the salt lakes in Northern India.
The Fours Species that live in the Americas are the Chilean flamingo, James’s flamingo, Andean flamingo and the American flamingo also known as the Caribbean flamingo. The Chilean flamingo lives in temperate South America in countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. There is also a small population of this flamingo in Utah and California. This species has grey legs with pink knees. The James’s flamingo is also known as the Puna flamingo and is found in the high Andes plateaus of Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. These flamingos have a very long neck with 19 long cervical vertebrate and thin stick like legs. They were thought to be extinct until a colony was discovered in 1956. The Andean flamingo is one of the rarest species of flamingo and is the only species with yellow legs and a three-toed foot. They also live on the Andes plateaus of Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. They migrate from their Chilean breeding ground in the summer to the wetlands of central and western Argentina. The American flamingo lives in the Caribbean and Galapagos islands. This is the only species of flamingo that naturally inhabits North America.