Interesting Flamingo Facts
Interesting Flamingo Facts

29 Beautiful and Fun Flamingo Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published October 28, 2020
  • The word "flamingo" comes from the Spanish flamengo, meaning "flame colored."[10]
  • There are six different species of flamingos.[10]
  • Even though adult flamingos are four to five feet tall, they only weigh between four and eight pounds.[10]
  • Pink Flamingo Facts
    Flamingos with deeper pink pigmentation are more aggressive than paler flamingos
  • A pair of African flamingos escaped from the Wichita, Kansas, zoo in 2005. Fourteen years later, one of them was spotted in Texas, and it has been spotted in Louisiana and Wisconsin.[5]
  • Flamingos turn white if their diet is not supplemented with live shrimp or flamingo food containing carotenoid pigments.[10]
  • Caribbean flamingos have the brightest pink color. The Chilean flamingo is pale pink.[4]
  • The feathers under a flamingos wings are black. You typically see them when they are flying.[4]
  • Flamingo tongue was considered a delicacy in Ancient Rome.[3]
  • Flamingos feed their babies crop milk, which is a semi-solid, crumbly excretion that is high in fat and protein. Unlike the milk of mammals, crop milk is not created by mammary glands, and young birds do not suckle on a teat to feed.[6]
  • Flamingos are monogamous, and they only lay about one egg every year.[10]
  • Flamingos are not born pink. It takes about three years for their feathers to turn pink and red.[10]
  • A group of flamingos is called a flamboyance.[10]
  • The flamingo is the national bird of The Bahamas.[10]
  • Flamingo National Bird
    Another reason to love The Bahamas

  • Flamingos are very social birds, and they live in colonies of thousands.[10]
  • The oldest flamingo on record was Greater, who lived to the great old age of 83 in Australia. Flamingos usually live between 20–30 years.[11]
  • Flamingos generally don't migrate, but if the climate or water levels change in their breeding areas, they may relocate.[10]
  • Scientists are not completely sure, but they speculate that flamingos stand on one leg to conserve energy.[2]
  • Andean miners have traditionally killed flamingos for their fat because they believed the fat was a cure for tuberculosis.[1]
  • Flaming flamingos were believed to have gone extinct in Florida by the early 1900s, though small groups were sometimes seen. Flocks from the Caribbean sometimes may nest there.[5]
  • Fake Flamingo Facts
    There are more fake flamingos in the world than real ones
  • Donald Featherstone, the creator of the plastic pink flamingo, was a trained sculptor with a background in classical music. He created the now-ubiquitous bird in 1957 based on a photo he saw in National Geographic.[7]
  • A zoo in England uses mirrors to trick flamingo flocks into thinking they are bigger than they are. Because flamingos are more comfortable in larger flocks, they are more likely to mate.[9]
  • In 2009, Madison, Wisconsin, named the plastic pink flamingo the city's official bird.[10]
  • Flamingos have to get a running start to fly.[8]
  • Flamingos put their heads upside down to feed in the water. They use their bills to scoop up water, plant seeds, bugs, and tiny creatures.[8]
  • Flamingos are not classified as endangered. They are listed as "least concern."[8]
  • Flamingos can travel 311–373 miles (500–600 km) in a single flight.[10]
  • Even though flamingos are thought of as tropical birds, if they have enough food and water, they can also thrive in cold environments.[8]
  • Flamingos can fly at altitudes of 10,000–15,000 feet. They can also fly as fast as 31–37 mph (50–60 kph).[10]
  • Flamingo Fun Facts
    Flamingos have to get a running start to fly

  • The largest flock of flamingos ever recorded was in found in East Africa, at over 1 million birds.[10]

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