The most brilliantly colored of the six species of flamingos, this familiar bird breeds in various Caribbean islands, the Caribbean coast of South America, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Galapagos. The American or Caribbean flamingo remains abundant in the wild. In captivity, there are more than 4,000 worldwide, with more than 1,500 in US collections alone. They easily live more than 40 years in zoos. Since the first captive breeding in 1937, they have been hatched in many places. They build their nests from mud, and lay only one egg at a time.
For decades this beautiful South American bird has been bred in American zoos and is now established as a self-sustaining population of more than 500. Birds bred in the US have been sent around the world. The brilliant color is dependent upon diet, so zoo birds are provided food rich in carotenoids. It is the national bird of Trinidad.