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The American Flamingo

Go to any Florida zoo or amusement park with animals and you will undoubtedly see an exhibit with elegant flamingoes.

Flamingoes are not native to Florida although you may see a few in the Everglades that have wandered over from the Caribbean where most live.

Flamingoes prefer shallow lakes and lagoons where they wade on long stilt-like legs to find food. A flamingo stirs the mud up with its feet, then plunges its head into the water and uses upper bill as a shovel scooping small fish, tiny shrimp and to strain algae to eat.

Illegal poaching and habitat loss are two threats to this species, but there are many conservation groups that monitor flamingo populations and that work with governments to develop plans to protect this species.

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