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Last updated on April 25, 2014 at 5:51 EDT

Caribbean Flamingo

The Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is a large species of flamingo closely related to the Greater Flamingo and the Chilean Flamingo.

It breeds in the Galapagos Islands, coastal Colombia and Venezuela as well as nearby islands, the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and in the northern Caribbean in the Bahamas, Hispaniola, Cuba and Turks and Caicos. Most sightings in southern Florida are of escapes, although some may be genuine wanderers from Cuba.

Their habitat is similar to that of its relatives, including saline lagoons, mudflats and shallow brackish coastal or inland lakes. Like all flamingos, it lays a single chalky white egg on a mud mound.

The Caribbean Flamingo averages 120″“140 cm in length; males weigh 2.8 kg and females 2.2 kg. Most of the plumage is pink, giving rise to its earlier name of Rosy Flamingo and differentiating adults from the much paler European species. The wing coverts are red, and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. It is the only flamingo which naturally occurs in North America.

The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. The call is a goose-like honking.

Caribbean Flamingo