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Interesting Flamingo Facts

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We found 17 interesting facts about flamingos

Phoenix Ruber

The most popular flamingo is the crimson flamingo, which lives in Central America. However, this is not their only habitat; they also inhabit Africa, Europe and Asia. They are known for their characteristic one-legged posture in which they sometimes rest. In addition, they catch plankton in the water with their heads upside down and doze with their heads on their bodies.

Today, fortunately, they did not encounter barbarism, but in Ancient Rome they were killed for their tongues, which were considered a delicacy.


The crimson flamingo inhabits the islands and coasts of South and Central America.

It can be found on the Galapagos Islands, the coasts of Colombia and Venezuela, the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands. They can also be found in southern Louisiana, Florida and the Florida Keys.

These are birds that migrate short distances.

Their travels are usually driven by searching for new food sources or disturbing the peace of their current habitat.

These are large wading birds whose body length can reach from 120 to 145 cm.

Males are slightly larger than females, weighing on average 2,8 kg, while females weigh on average 2,2 kg. The wingspan of flamingos is from 140 to 165 cm.

The vast majority of their plumage is pink.

The wing fairings are red, and the first and second row ailerons are black. The legs and part of the jaw are also pink. The tip of the beak is black.

These are birds that roam in search of food, relying on their long legs.

They use their legs to graze aquatic creatures, which they catch with their beaks. Flamingos often roam underwater using their beaks for long periods of time and can hold their breath while feeding.

Because flamingos eat sea food and often drink sea water.

Their bodies have many mechanisms that support osmotic regulation. Their beaks have salt glands that secrete brine, which is then expelled through their nostrils.

During the mating season, males search for females, but females choose males.

Some individuals mate for the entire season, others look for new partners. There are groups consisting of a male and two females, in which one is dominant.

Flamingos usually produce one litter per year, and not a very large one.

They usually lay one egg, sometimes two. The egg measures 78 x 49 mm and weighs about 115 g. They have an oblong shape, reminiscent of a chicken egg, and are white in color. Immediately after laying, the egg may have a light blue tint.

The eggs are guarded at all times by at least one parent and hatch in 27–31 days.

After an incubation period, the young hatch from them. This process takes from 24 to 36 hours. The young break through the egg shell using a special “tooth”, which falls off shortly after hatching.

Newly hatched flamingos are whitish or gray, with a straight red beak and pink legs.

Immediately after hatching, the chicks' feet become swollen, and the swelling subsides after about 48 hours. The beak turns black in about 1 - 1,5 weeks.


Parents easily recognize their chick by its appearance and the sounds it makes.

This is important because flamingos do not feed the chicks of other birds. The chicks leave the nests after about a week, when they are strong enough to move steadily on their own. Young groups, together with other chicks, create a “nursery” where the parents find them while feeding.

Flamingos feed their babies red marshmallows.

This is a secretion coming from the upper gastrointestinal tract of the parents. The hormone prolactin, produced by both sexes, is responsible for its production. Its composition is similar to mammalian milk, containing about 9% protein and 15% fat. Its color comes from canthaxanthin, which the hatchlings accumulate in their livers and which will be used to color their feathers in the future.

The juvenile's beak begins to bend only 11 weeks after hatching.

Thanks to this, they can become self-feeding. At the same time, their first flight feathers begin to grow. The gray plumage gradually gives way to pink, and this process takes two to three years.


The cubs have a lower survival rate than their parents, but if they manage to reach maturity, they will live a long life.

The average life expectancy in the wild is 25 years, the maximum is 44! Flamingos kept in captivity live on average 30 years.

The record holder for life expectancy was a female living at the Adelaide Zoo in Australia.

She was about 60 years old, but unfortunately, due to deteriorating health, she had to be euthanized in 2018.

Flamingos living in the Galapagos are different from flamingos living in the Caribbean.

They are smaller in size, lay smaller eggs, and show greater sex differences.

They are not in danger of extinction. Their number is estimated at 260-330 thousand people. faces.

Their numbers are increasing every year, which is why the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists flamingos as a species of Least Concern (LC).
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