The Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) naturally is the highlight of Flamingo Gardens. Located in their own habitat, the brightly colored birds survey the tourists and photographers alike. Although flamingos are familiar in zoos, they are naturally found in the Caribbean, Yucatan Peninsula, and Galapagos Islands. These birds are also known as the American Flamingo.
They can grow as high as 4 ½ feet and weigh about 6 pounds. While the adults are bright pink, the little ones start out as grey in color.
They live in lagoon-like environments in social groups. It is unknown if they use Facebook or Twitter. They use their long curved beaks as filters gulping lots of water containing insects and vegetation for their dinner. The flamingo’s characteristic pink colouring is caused by the beta carotene in their diet.
After some mating dance moves, the female lays one white egg each. It takes about a month for hatching. Initially, the chicks are fed “crop milk” by their mothers or other females in the colony. It takes about five years until the young are full adults (e.g. sexually active). Predators include jaguars, raccoons, birds and humans.