Meet our fabulous flamingos and experience their elegant ‘head-flagging’ and ‘wing salute’ behaviours

Our flock of over 80 Chilean flamingos live in the large central valley on naturalistic mud flats next to the stream that runs through the zoo grounds. They spend their days feeding near these mud flats and swimming in the stream, and at night often rest on the grassy banks further up the valley.

Chilean Flamingo grooms itself at Jersey Zoo
Animal facts

Key facts about the Chilean flamingo

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I’m found in South America

Chilean flamingos live in enormous colonies of up to 6,000 pairs.

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My favourite food is brine shrimp

Pigment-rich food helps flamingos to achieve their bright pink colour.

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I can absorb water through my feathers

Chilean flamingos cannot safely drink the water where they live as it is too salty. Instead, they absorb rainwater through their feathers.

300,000

Estimated number in the wild

30

Days incubating egg

6

Species of flamingo

Chilean Flamingo at Jersey Zoo

Getting to know our flamingos

You can tell the age of the flamingos in our flock by looking at the feathers on their necks. If the feathers are light grey, they are youngsters, as flamingos are born grey and fluffy.

During late summer, our flamingos will begin their breeding rituals where they turn their heads from side to side in unison, and stretch their wings out in salute to each other.

Flamingos on the water at Jersey Zoo

Flamingos face an uncertain future in the wild

In Bolivia, colonies have completely failed largely because their eggs are harvested to be sold as food and medicine.

Across South America their habitat is under threat from mining companies that wish to use the rich minerals that have been carried into the flamingos’ grounds by rivers and streams for thousands of years.

At Mar Chiquita Lake in Argentina, perhaps the flamingos’ most important breeding ground, the threat of water being redirected for the irrigation of farmland is a constant concern.

Help us care for our flamingos