Andean Flamingo Phoenicoparrus andinus
Version: 2.0 — Published May 21, 2020
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Andean Flamingo is the largest flamingo in the Andes. The base of the Andean Flamingo’s neck and chest are covered in bright pink feathers. Its coverts are also bright pink, while its other feathers are pale pink (1). Its bill is pale yellow near the skull, but black for the majority of its length, and curves downward. Its lower mandible is less apparent than those of the genus Phoenicopterus (2).
Andean Flamingo overlaps in distribution with two other species of flamingo: Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) and James’s Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus jamesi; 3, 4, 5, 6). Andean Flamingo is the largest of the three species. It has yellow legs, while the Chilean Flamingo has grayish legs and pink joints, and James’s Flamingo has brick red legs. Andean Flamingo is best separated from both flamingos it overlaps with by its black primary and tertial feathers, which when not in flight, appear as a large black triangle on the back. While both Chilean and James’s flamingo also have black primaries; they are largely covered by elongated pink feathers on the back. James’s Flamingo is best separated from Andean Flamingo (and Chilean Flamingo) by its largely yellow bill; only the base of the bill is yellow in Andean.
Overall uniformly pale gray, often appearing duskier on the head and neck. Coverts and scapulars can have darker brown centers, appearing as streaking on some individuals. Primaries are black (7).
Overall pale pink, with the feathers on the lower neck and chest being much brighter pink; coverts may be similarly bright pink (1). Head and upper neck may be a brighter pink than the rest of the body, which can appear almost white with only a pale pink wash, but head and upper neck never as bright as the lower neck and breast. Primaries and secondaries black, which when wings are folded, appear as bold black triangle that is not obscured by other feathers.
Distal half to two-thirds black; base pale yellow; maxilla often with pale peach coloration, especially between the black portion of the bill and the nares, which can also extend onto the mandible.
Iris and Facial Skin
Iris is dark brown. Bare skin around the base of the bill and around the eye a deep burgundy to wine red.
Tarsi and Feet
Pale yellow to grayish-yellow. Intertarsal joint (“ankle”) can be brighter yellow orange.
Total length about 99 cm; mean wing length 38 cm. Males are larger than females (7).