When a little birdie tells you that there is group of exotic birds in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, you're not hearing a fib. At the Flamingo's outdoor Wildlife Habitat, you can get up close and personal with pink flamingos, exotic ducks, koi fish and so much more.
The Wildlife Habitat may only be a few steps from the hustle-and-bustle of the resort, but you'll feel miles away. With the abundance of trees, grasslands, waterfalls, streams and brooks, you'll feel like you're in paradise. All you're missing is a drink with a little umbrella.
Upon visiting, be sure you have a fully-charged battery (and enough memory) on your camera or phone. With all the different animals dwelling in this habitat, you'll be snapping away like crazy. The bright-pink Chilean flamingos will definitely catch your attention. Native to South America, these flamingos grow to be four feet tall, weighing six pounds. Notice how their knees bend the opposite direction of ours -- this allows them to sleep on one leg.
While the flamingos are probably the most recognized animals here, the Wildlife Habitat introduces visitors to a variety of exotic ducks and birds. Not only do these creatures have unique and distinct features, the male ducks are natural romantics. As you walk through the attraction, you'll read on placards that these suave birds have ways to get the ladies.
For instance, Chinese pheasants use their feathers and long tails to woo females. The male Mandarin duck attracts females by raising his feathers as well. Guys can learn a lot from the Northern Cinnamon Teals. The males attract females with excessive bathing of their feathers. In turn, the female swims in front of the male who wins her affection. How fun would it be to see this in action?
While these male birds are experts at scoring chicks, the male red-crested pochard duck is a true gentleman. Male pochard ducks bring food to the female during breeding season.
The habitat also includes the strikingly beautiful hooded merganser, the hybrid whistling duck and the common shoveler. This breed is known to swim in tight circles, making whirlpools to draw food from the bottom of the pond. Seeing the different breeds swim together and gather on the rocks is such a fun sight.
You won't find Natalie Portman or Mila Kunis here, but the Wildlife Habitat is home to real black swans. When black swans were first brought to Europe from Australia, people thought they were dyed black.
The South American black-necked swan is the fastest in its breed and has a musical voice. Because the South American black-necked swan is clumsy, it rarely comes to shore. Other birds include the sacred ibis, known to save crops for Egyptians by eating locusts.
See the helmeted guinea fowl walk along the grassy areas. Related to turkeys, farmers throughout the world use these birds as alarms. When someone enters into their territory, they shriek loudly.
Among all of the birds, you'll also find plenty of fish, like Japanese koi and the Albino Channel (yellow) catfish. Koi fish are popular for their bright and beautiful patterns. With good care, they can live up to 60 years old. The yellow catfish can live well into their 40s. The oldest catfish in this habitat was born in 1996. Turtles show up on the edges of the pond during the warm seasons, but hibernate in the winter months.
The winding walkways alongside streams and waterfalls, bridges over lagoons and ponds and benches scattered throughout the area make this attraction so peaceful. The Wildlife Habitat offers presentations at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., daily.
While you're here, make sure to read about Bugsy Siegel and his ties to Las Vegas on the hotel's bronze memorial plaque. The plaque is located near the the wildlife habitat by the outdoor wedding gazebo.
The easiest way to get to the Wildlife Habitat is through the doors between Java Detour and Sin City Brewing Company. Stay to the left and you'll run right into it.
-- Review by Jeannie Borbe