Where Do Flamingos Live


So where do flamingos live naturally?  You’ll find them running wild in tropical and subtropical parts of South America, especially Chile, Peru, Argentina, and southern Brazil.  You’ll also find some varieties of the flamingo in certain parts of Africa, especially in the eastern, southwestern, and western parts of the continent.  There are even some species of flamingos in the Caribbean, populating Cuba the Bahamas, and the Galapagos Islands.  The most widespread flamingo is the greater flamingo, and it’s found throughout India, the Middle East, Africa, and even the Mediterranean region.

 


Another important part of the question “Where do flamingos live?” is their habitat.  They favor alkaline or saline lakes or lagoons.  Flamingos always live near lakes because the lakes offer them a source of food.  Flamingos eat algae, crustaceans, and other things they can filter out of the water with their beaks.  The birds use their partially webbed feet to stomp on the mud that lies on the bottom of the lake.  This stirs up the mud and water so more food will come to the surface. 


Flamingos typically live in large groups called colonies.  There doesn’t seem to be any limit to the number of flamingos in one colony, with the number sometimes getting up into the tens of thousands.  Flamingos start breeding at the age of six, and they usually pair off within their colonies.  Each pair doesn’t necessarily breed every year.  The birds that are ready to breed engage in courting rituals that results in thousands of pairs of flamingos within the same colony breeding and hatching young around the same time of the year.

 


Flamingos also tend to build nests, although they also don’t do this every year.  The birds build nests when they breed so they have a place to lay their egg.  Each flamingo pair that mated within a given year will build a nest and lay just one egg.  Flamingos build their nests from mud, stones, and feathers.  Nests usually look like mini volcanoes and can be as high as a foot tall. 


Flamingos are very picky when it comes to building their nests.  Sometimes it can take a pair of the birds up to six weeks just to build their nest.  After the egg is laid in the nest, the male and female take turns sitting on the egg to keep it warm.  It takes about a month for the egg to hatch, and each flamingo pair will only take care of their own offspring.  They recognize their own baby flamingos by their voices. 


One of the biggest problems for flamingos is the destruction of their natural habitats.  Humankind continues to destroy lake areas and build new construction. Humans also tend to change the natural habitats of flamingos through other, more subtle ways like disrupting the food chain or the simple, natural order of things.  Experts warn that flamingos could experience a sudden, sharp decline in their populations if people do continue to disrupt their natural habitats.