Andean Flamingo Phoenicoparrus andinus

Kylie G. Roberts, Jessica C. Patton, Zishan A. Mahmood, Brandon D. Alarcon, Josep del Hoyo, Peter F. D. Boesman, and Ernest Garcia
Version: 2.0 — Published May 21, 2020


Welcome to Birds of the World!

You are currently viewing one of the free accounts available in our complimentary tour of Birds of the World. In this courtesy review, you can access all the life history articles and the multimedia galleries associated with this account.

For complete access to all accounts, a subscription is required.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in


In general, Andean Flamingo is a habitat-generalist (16), although it breeds at high elevations in the Andes, and is found at lower elevations in its nonbreeding range.

Habitat in Breeding Range

Andean Flamingo breeds at high elevation wetlands in the High Andes, typically between 3,000-4,000 meters above sea level, where temperatures drop below 0o C (16, 6); it inhabits shallow lakes that are usually less than 1 m deep with salt-flats or mudflats, which are collectively known as salars (3, 5, 17), and nests on islands or islets of soft clay sediment or sand, in the center of or along the shores of salt lakes.

Habitat in Nonbreeding Range

During the non-breeding season, birds are largely found at a lower elevation than during the breeding season, around lakes found in eastern Bolivia (16). However, some birds may remain around the lakes at which they breed, moving to areas of these lakes that receive an influx of warm water from hot springs, which keeps the water from freezing. At Laguna Colorada in Bolivia, Johnson et al. (3) reported that bird remained at this lake throughout the year, and moved to the portions of the lake with hot springs, allowing them to withstand the extreme cold temperatures that can occur in the region during the night, which can be as low as -30o C. Johnson et al. (3) reported that during their stay during the breeding season, the water temperature around these hot springs was a constant 22o C, with a pH between 5-6.

Recommended Citation

Roberts, K. G., J. C. Patton, Z. A. Mahmood, B. D. Alarcon, J. del Hoyo, P. F. D. Boesman, and E.F.J. Garcia (2020). Andean Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus andinus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, B. K. Keeney, and S. M. Billerman, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.andfla2.02