8 amazing flamingo facts

Discover fascinating facts about flamingos. 


1 The word ‘flamingo’ comes from the Spanish word ‘flamenco’ meaning fire, which refers to the bright pink or orange colour of the feathers. 

There are six flamingo species, including the greater, Chilean, lesser, Caribbean, Andean and puna. 

The bright colour of their feathers is caused by the presence of carotenoid pigments found in the algae and crustaceans that make up the diet of a flamingo. The inside of of a flamingo’s egg, their skin and the crop milk adults feed their chicks for the first few days is also pink!

4 Little grey flamingo chicks hatch atop a mud nest constructed by the adults and take up to three years to attain their full mature plumage.

5 During a colony’s breeding time, a high ranking individual will influence the rest of the flock to breed by changing its feather colour to a deeper pink, kick-starting the breeding rituals.

6 The pinkest birds have the highest status in the colony as the bright colour shows that a particular individual is strong and good at finding food resources.

7 Males and females perform a spectacular courtship dance to attract a mate. Once formed, flamingo pair bonds are mostly monogamous.

8  Flamingos can live a long time, some individuals have been recorded at 70 years of age. 

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