Flamingo

Biological classification

Class (Aves)
Order (Phoenicopteriformes)
Family (Phoenicopteridae)

                                           Appearance

The color of adult birds is mainly pink. Primitive feathers are black. Body height of adult flamingo reaches 125-145 cm and the wingspan ranges from 140 to 165cm. Beak length is 11-14 cm, it is pink with a black tip. Weight of males is 4 4,4kg, females 2,2 3,4 kg. Life-span: over 40 years.

Area and habitats

Flamingos are water birds, so they live in and around lagoons or lakes. These bodies of water tend to be saline or alkaline. Their habitat is Africa south of the Sahara Desert, southern Europe, Central and South Asia. There are no flamingos nests in Ukraine as it is transit rare bird. Nearest to our country colony is located in the Caspian Sea and lakes of Kazakhstan, where they fly to us from.

Diet

Flamingos feed on invertebrates (insects, molluscs, crustaceans), single-celled algae and seeds of some plants. The brightness of flamingo color depends on whether they consume enough of carotenoids that contains a reddish-orange pigment. Carotinoids are also present in crustaceans and shrimp in the algae they consume with food.

Breeding

Flamingos come to the places of nesting located in the Caspian Sea and in Kazakhstan lakes at the end of April beginning of May. Nesting period takes place from May to August. Flamingos nest on islands and shallow spits in large colonies. Monogamous. Nests are made out of mounds of mud up to 60 cm hight. The bottom of the nest is lined with feathers. Usually laying consists of 1 3 eggs. Eggs are wtite, have oblong oval form, at 7,7 to 10 cm long and 5 6 cm width.

The egg will take 30 to 32 days to hatch. Egg laying period is very stretched and when some nests have hatched chicks in others nests eggs are only laying. Chicks are sitting in the nest for about 4 days, and then move around the colony, returning to the nest when parents bring food or for the nights. Flamingos are born with straight beak, and it becomes bent only in two weeks. After this young birds are grouped and roam the shallow water searching for food. Baby flamingos are gray or white. They will turn pink within the first three years of life. Fly away in the middle of September - October forming large groups up to 100 individuals. On the wintering place stay from November till the first half of March.

Flamingo of Kyiv zoo

There are 9 red flamingos: 6 males and 2 females. Three of these birds are aged 27 years old. They had been caught on Aral Sea when they were young. Five birds arrived in 2012 from the local zoo located in Vinnytsia region. One flamingo arrived in the autumn 2014 from Zhytomyr region, where the bird accidentally The bird accidentally flew and was injured. It was rescued by locals and transported to the Kyiv zoo.

In summer flamingos live in the pond area of 2000 square meters, together with other waterfowl - ducks and geese. The bottom of the ponds is lined with a special blue clay for natural reproduction of crustaceans that flamingos feed on. Thats why the water in the pond is always muddy. In the winter zookeepers transfer flamingos to the "Hall of Birds", where visitors can see them. Birds are active in the daytime.

The diet of flamingos in the Kyiv Zoo contains of fish, meat, eggs, mixed fodder, carrots etc. Daily, one bird consumes around 740 grams of feed.

Flamingo