It is the smallest but most numerous flamingo, of light to dark pink colour, with a relatively long and dark-coloured bill. It is not migratory, although it will quickly move somewhere new in search of food.
Some colonies are made up of more than a million individuals, being the largest collections of birds in the world. Courtship rituals often include hundreds of birds moving and displaying in a synchronised manner. The greatest threat to this species is poisoning, due to the appearance of heavy metals in the lakes they live in.