WHERE DO FLAMINGOS LIVE?
In an attempt to see wild flamingos, it is essential to visit the proper habitats that support these wading birds.
Flamingos are quite adaptable, and they can be found in a range of wet habitats from freshwater to saltwater, including mudflats, lakes, coastal lagoons, open marshes and relatively shallow salt lakes.
In many areas, flamingos can subsist in brackish water that does not offer enough food for other birds, and in those regions, large flocks are more common as flamingos gather in great numbers to take advantage of abundant food and little competition.
Where to see wild flamingos?
Even with only a few flamingo species, it is possible for everyone to see these birds if they know where to look.
In the Caribbean:
The American flamingo is native in the Caribbean, occurring on many islands. They are relatively easy to see in the Bahamas, Aruba and Cuba, as well as along the coasts of other Caribbean islands and the adjacent coasts of Central and South America. Regular wild vagrants travel as far north as Florida and are often sighted in Everglades National Park.
In South America:
The Andean, puna, Chilean and American flamingos are all residents in South America, and depending on the species they can be found in a variety of habitats from coastal marshes to mountain plateaus. Laguna Colorada in Bolivia is a popular spot to see flamingos, and wild populations are common in Argentina, northeastern Chile and throughout Ecuador and Venezuela.
Both lesser and greater flamingos are found in large numbers in Africa. The most common breeding grounds are throughout the Great Rift Valley, including Lake Natron in Tanzania, Lake Bogoria National Park in Kenya and Lake Nakuru, also in Kenya.
In the Middle East:
After the breeding season, greater and lesser flamingos regularly migrate to the Middle East, including areas of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. To a lesser extent, they can also be found in Iran and Kazakhstan, though their populations appear to be decreasing in those areas.
Near the Mediterranean:
Greater flamingos are regularly sighted along the southern Mediterranean Sea, spreading especially from Tunisia to Egypt in fairly large numbers. Rare vagrant sightings are often recorded much further north, but it is not certain if those birds are wild or escapees from captivity.
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