Flamingos and Natural Predators
Flamingos tend to live in regions that have very little food to offer other animals. As a result they benefit from not having many natural predators. However, they do seem to come under fire of a variety of other large birds. Since these animals fly and move around from location to location it is often that they come into contact with the Flamingo. They aren’t a threat to the full grow ones other than the fact that they are competing for many of the same types of foods.
These larger birds though are a threat to the small offspring though if they aren’t closely guarded. Both vultures and storks can swoop in and take these young to consume though in an instant. There is nothing that can be done but to try to keep the young close enough to the adults that these birds won’t try it. However, when their hunger gets the best of them they will do anything to try to fill their stomachs.
These birds are also known to attack the nests of Flamingos to feed on their eggs. Since the nest is to be protected at all times from either parent, this isn’t always an easy feat. Yet the adults can become distracted, leave to get their own food if the other parent has been gone a long time, or if something happens to one of the parents leaving the other to do it on their own.
In some regions python snakes are known to attack flamingos. These extremely large snakes have no problem attacking larger prey when it is available. In other areas including Africa there are the big cats on land to worry about. They include lions, tigers, cheetahs, and leopards. This is a huge problem in Africa where there is an abundance of these large cats looking for enough food to survive.
Some wild dogs including jackals and hyenas as have been known to attack them. These dogs are light weight so they have an advantage over the big cats. They are able to do well on the muddy ground where Flamingos are often found. Small animals can also take down young Flamingos including bobcats, foxes, and coyotes. They also look for those that are sick or weak and can be taken down easily.
As the natural habitats of these types of predators are destroyed by humans, they move where they can for survival. That is why Flamingos have more of a problem with these types of predators than they ever did in the past. The Flamingo has only one line of defense and that is their very powerful legs. If they can find out about the predator soon enough they will be able to fly away but many of these predators are sneaky, fast, and blend in well to the surroundings.
Humans have long been the biggest predators of the Flamingo though. In many cultures stealing the eggs of them to consume is a way of life. This has drastically reduced the number of new Flamingos in many regions. Even in locations where the government has made it illegal for this to take place it continues.
Consuming them is considered a delicacy in some areas but in others it is a way for them to get enough food that they continue are lacking in their diets. In other regions killing Flamingos to consume the tongue is also a common practice. It still takes place on a large scale today in areas of Rome. Humans are also known to simply kill Flamingos in a given area so that it can be used for something else.