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Interesting Facts About The Elegant Pink Flamingo
Pink Flamingos are everywhere in South Florida and the Caribbean. After living here for most of my life, I was sure I knew everything about them. Oh, was I wrong! After researching this pink and elegant bird, I learned some surprising facts. The pink flamingo lives in many parts of the world, and not all those regions have warm tropical climates. The Andean flamingo, for example, lives up in the cold Andes.
It turns out that there are 6 different species of flamingos and they live in different regions. See more interesting facts below and a list of the 6 species.
Pink Flamingo FACTS
- Flamingos are water wading birds.
- They are easily recognized and famous for their beautiful bright pinkish feathers, their long skinny legs, curvy necks, and angled beaks.
- They can be found in many places in the world (Africa, Asia, America, and Europe). Flamingos can adapt to cold weather, as long as they have lots of shallow waters and mud, such as lagoon lakes, tidal flats, mangrove swamps, or sandy islands. Who knew, this flamingo lives with Llamas and Alpacas!
- Flamingos are born white or grayish, and their beaks are not angled. They turn pink when they are about 1-3 years of age, and it is caused by the carotenoid (Kr-aa-tuh-noyd) pigments in their food.
- They are omnivores and eat brine shrimp, blue-green algae, snails, and worms.
- They eat with their heads upside down in the water. They use their webbed feet to stir up the mud and filter what they scoop up with their angled beak. The good news is that they do not breathe while they eat.
- Their long curvy necks have 19 bones.
- They rarely lay down and sleep usually standing on one leg. No one knows for sure why they stand on one leg but one theory is that they warm their bodies with their warm legs, so they put it close to their bodies to keep warm.
- Flamingos do not bend their knees backward. Those are their ankles, and their knees are higher up under all those feathers.
- Adults are between 3.0 and 4.6 tall and weigh between 3.3 to 9 pounds. The wingspan can be between 3.3 to 5 feet. There is a significant difference in size, depending on the specie.
- They are social birds that like to live in colonies, sometimes up to thousands.
- In some of East Africa’s large lakes, more than a million lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor) gather during the breeding season.
- Flamingos like to dance!! They do it to attract a mate. See the video below.
- They spend a lot of time grooming their feathers, thus spreading the natural oils they produced.
- During migration, they fly up to 37 miles per hour and travel a distance of over 300 miles to reach their new habitat in one night.
- Flamingoes only produced one egg a year.
- Both the mother and the father keep the egg warm in a nest in mud, and they both produce a milk-like substance in their upper digestive tract to feed the newborn baby bird.
- They live up to years 30 years.
- The Flamingo is the National Bird of the Bahamas.
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