Pinkish white to vermilion wading birds with extremely long necks and legs. The thick bill is bent sharply down and lined with numerous lamellae for straining food.
Food - Small mollusks, Crustaceans, Blue-green algae
American Flamingo - Phoenicopterus ruber - An extremely slim rose-pink wading bird as tall as a Great Blue Heron but much more slender. Note the sharply bent bill or broken "Roman nose." Feeds with the bill or head immersed. In flight it shows much black in the wings; its extremely long neck is extended droopily in front and the long legs trail behind, giving the impression that the bird might easily fly backward as forward. Pale washed-out birds may be escapes from zoos as the color often fades under captive conditions. Immatures are also much paler than normal adults.
Voice - Gooselike calls, gabbling; ar-honk, etc.
Range - West Indies, Yucatan, Galapagos Is.
East - Occasional on the Florida coast; accidental elsewhere. It is difficult to determine whether vagrants are truly wild or escapes. Hialeah Race Track, Bok Sanctuary, Busch Gardens, etc., may be the sources of strays.
Habitat - Salt flats, saline lagoons.