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Greater Flamingos, Ibises and Spoonbills at Mondo Verde

To admire: Tropical Paradise

Greater Flamingo

Scientific name: Phoenicopterus roseus


Scientific name: Threskiornis


Scientific name: Platalea

Greater Flamingos, Ibises and Spoonbills at Mondo Verde

Greater Flamingos, Ibises and Spoonbills are all known to be colony breeders. Because of this, the natural behavior of these 3 species is displayed to its best advantage when they come together in a colony.

In Tropical Paradise (and throughout the rest of the park), you will see several (constructed) ponds and lakes. With these different levels of water, Mondo Verde stimulates natural behavior in the animals.

Near the Greater Flamingos’ enclosure, you will see a pond. This pond serves primarily as a feeding ground for the Greater Flamingos, but the Ibises, Spoonbills and other bird species visit regularly. As a result, the entire colony comes together.

Mondo Verde refills the water of the pond 3 times a day, introducing new food particles to the water. These food particles settle on the muddy bottom of the pond. As a result, Mondo Verde stimulates the natural behavior of the Greater Flamingos (filtering), Ibises (rooting), Spoonbills (head swinging) and in other bird species.

Diet in Mondo Verde

The colony of Greater Flamingos at Mondo Verde receives a comprehensive diet. In addition to natural food, the colony at Mondo Verde eats a specially balanced flamingo kibbles. At first, this special flamingo kibble is soaked by the Zookeepers. Then they give the food to the Greater Flamingos. This allows the colony to filter itself naturally.

Reproduction in Mondo Verde

Up in the trees near the Flamingo’s enclosure, Ibises and Spoonbills breed. First to breed are the Ibises, followed by the Spoonbills. Both bird species breed successfully at Mondo Verde.

In the future, Mondo Verde also hopes for a successful reproduction of the Greater Flamingo.


During summer season, the Greater Flamingos live in colonies in Europe. During winter season and when it is too cold in Europe, the colony migrates toward Africa and Asia. Greater Flamingos occur at various freshwater and saltwater biotopes.

Ibises and Spoonbills are found on all continents of the world except Antarctica. Mainly they live in tropical and subtropical areas. In addition, you can find them as well in temperate climates.

Natural behavior

Greater Flamingos enter the shallow water in search of food. With their legs they kick through the mud. With these they chase the small animals out of the mud.

Then the Greater Flamingo dips its upper bill into the water. With its tongue, it squeezes the water out of the beak, leaving only the food trapped in the lamellae. This is also called “filtering”. Afterwards, the Greater Flamingo swallows the appropriate food particles.

Ibises use the “rooting” technique with foraging. Ibises often feed near the shallow parts of wetlands. With its long bill, it moves quickly and repeatedly through the mud in the shallow water.

While Ibises use “rooting” as a feeding method, the most characteristic feeding method of Spoonbills is “head rocking”. This involves the Spoonbill moving its broad bill back and forth through the water. The tip of the beak opens several inches and the beak holds the Spoonbill almost vertically in the water. The beak closes only when objects (food particles) touch the inner surface of the spoon, which contains numerous vibration detectors.


In the wild, Greater Flamingos eat mainly shrimp, algae, crustaceans, mollusks, invertebrates, small fish and seeds.

Ibises and Spoonbills are preferably carnivores. They eat aquatic insects, insect larvae, crustaceans, mollusks, small fish and amphibians. Occasionally, they also include plant material in their diet, such as aquatic plants, berries, shoots and rhizomes. Ibis’ diet also includes small chicks of ratites.


Greater Flamingos live monogamous lives. When the breeding season arrives, the mating dance begins. All Greater Flamingos walk together, turning their heads from side to side and stretching their wings. This mating dance strengthens the bond between the pair.

The nest of the Greater Flamingo, with a height of 30 cm, consists of mud and clay. In it, the female lays 1 egg. After about 30 days, the egg hatches. The chick has a gray-colored down with a red straight bill.

Ibises and Spoonbills also live monogamous. These bird species breed in colonies and with other bird species nearby. The mutual bond between the pair is strengthened by bowing to each other, holding their necks around each other and by supplying and inspecting nesting material. Ibises and Spoonbills often build nests close together with more nests per tree. The female lays 3 to 5 eggs.

Admire other beautiful animals of Tropical Paradise