Caribbean flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
Papiamento name: chogogo
The Caribbean flamingo is a lanky wading bird known for its distinct pink and crimson plumage, pink legs, and stout, down-turned bill. The bird's pink coloration is derived from carotenids in its diet (which consists of blue-green algae, crustaceans, mollusks and other invertebrates). The carotenoids are metabolized into several pigments which are then deposited throughout the bird's body. Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber) have declined in number and distribution throughout the Caribbean (Ottenwalder et al., 1990) and are presently known to breed at only five sites: Great Inagua (Bahamas Islands), Cuba, the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico), the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) and Bonaire (Dutch Caribbean) (Guzman, 1986). Flamingos occurring in Venezuela breed at the Ciénaga de Los Olivitos in Western Venezuela (Casler et al., 1994) and on Bonaire (aprox. 90 km north of Venezuelan mainland (Hilty and Brown, 1986). The flamingos fly from Bonaire to mainland Venezuela to feed in lagoons along the coast of the state of Falcón where hundreds are regularly seen but are not known to breed. Pekelmeer, in the flat, low-elevation southern end of the island, is globally significant for Caribbean Flamingos— numbers fluctuate between 1,500 and 7,000 (most often c.5,000) individuals, with a maximum of 1,300 pairs nesting in 1996. Flamingos can also be found , among other locations, in Gotomeer, Lac Bay, and Washington- Slagbaai National Park. The specific movements of the flamingos within the island and to-and-from mainland Venezuela are poorly known and warrant further research.
Photo credit: Rostislav Stach (SHAPE/DCNA)
Dutch CaribbeanBonairebiodiversitybirdflamingoPhoenicopteridaeCaribbean flamingoPhoenicopterus ruberchogogoSHAPE
From Bonaire Shape