Chilean Flamingo


Generally, two species of Flamingo occur in the Zwillbrocker Venn Nature Reserve: the Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) and the Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis).
Since the early eighties both species (and an occasional Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) and a Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor)) have come here from their winter grounds near the - mainly -southwestern coasts in The Netherlands, to breed.
Although it is thought that most of these flamingo's have escaped from private collections, it can not be excluded that wild individuals came here from overseas (Chilean and Caribbean Flamingo) and from southern Europe and Africa (Greater and Lesser Flamingo).
Both Greater and Chilean Flamingo breed in the Zwillbrocker Venn Nature Reserve but the two species also interbreed with one another producing hybrid forms.
As a result, it is not easy to distinguish the two species and the hybrid forms.
Generally, the Chilean Flamingo is slightly smaller than the Greater Flamingo and about half of its bill is black instead of just the tip as in the Greater Flamingo.

Zwillbrocker Venn Nature Reserve, Zwillbrock, Germany, 28 March 2021

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