FlamingoBonaire is one of the few nesting places for pink flamingos. One time ago, the noise of boats, planes, egg collecting and hunting of birds decreased the pink flamingo population dramatically: only 1500 flamingos were left.

Thanks to Akzo Nobel, this company wanted to do all in its power to preserve, protect and increase the pink flamingo population. A special sanctuary was accomplished and environmentalists and ornithologists were consulted to set up several constructions. The result was a success. The flamingos returned to Bonaire and began to multiply. Flamingos are very shy and therefore are off limits to the public.

Solar salt harvesting goes on a few miles away from the nesting area. At this moment, the pink flamingo population is flourishing and numbers are estimated at 15 - 20,000. It is a good example how industry made progress while making a vital contribution to one of the wonders of the world.


The most striking and widely recognized features of flamingo's are their pink feathers. In the wild, a flamingo will consume pigments that it utilizes to create the pink coloration of its feathers. These pigments are synthesized by plants and are either consumed by a flamingo directly in plants or are consumed by crustaceans which flamingos feed upon.

Flamingos are "filter feeders." They stand head-down with their bills upside-down in the water and then use their tongues like pistons to push mud and water through lamellae (tiny, hair-like projections) on the inside of their beaks. The small crustaceans, pieces of vegetation and microorganisms that become trapped in the lamellae are then consumed. Long necks and long legs increase feeding efficiency by allowing these birds to wade into deeper water than other birds. Flamingo

During the breeding season, flamingos practice elaborate courtship displays. Once paired, flamingos construct raised nests by mounding mud along the water's edge. A single egg is deposited in the nest, and incubation duties, which are shared by both parents, begin immediately. During the heat of the day, birds will stand over the egg to shade it from the hot sun.

Hatching after an average incubation period of 28 days, chicks stay in the nest for 5 to 8 days. Exclusively the adults feed chicks for 3 to 4 weeks, and during this time, young flamingo's band together in a group called a crèche. They stay together in the crèche while the adult birds go off to feed. By 30 days of age, chicks are usually eating on their own, and at 60 days they are capable of flight. Flamingos live 20 or more years in the wild, and in captivity, they are reported to live more than 40 years.Flamingo

Flamingos nest in colonies near large bodies of water in the wild, and historically have lived in extremely large colonies of up to one million birds! Currently, as more and more threats are placed upon wetland areas throughout the world, colonies are becoming smaller and smaller.

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