One of the tallest and believed to be the world’s most beautiful birds, flamingos are large, gregarious wading birds that can live in various locations ranging from hot volcanic lakes to an icy lake in the Andean mountains. The word “flamingo” has been derived from a Spanish and Latin word “flamenco”, which means “fire”. A sociable bird, the flamingo enjoys living in colonies and is very protective of its family. Typical characteristics of flamingos are long necks, long legs, a curved beak and large eyes. The flamingo has a long neck, webbed feet and a unique down-bent bill and is similar to the related heron, stork and spoonbill. Flamingos can be found in countries of Africa, Asia, North America, Central America, South America and Europe. These birds look particularly attractive with their long necks and legs while catching their prey in flocks and when in flight. To know more interesting and amazing information about the flamingos, read through the following lines.
Group Name: Colony, flock
Height: 3.3-4.6 feet
Weight: 1.4-4 kg
Lifespan: 20-30 years
Diet: Algae, insects, shrimps, mollusks.
Habitat: Shallow lakes, tidal flats, lagoons, mangrove swamps and areas where the ocean mixes with fresh water.
Age of Sexual Maturity: 3 years
Gestation Period: 28 days
Number of Offspring: 1 per year
Interesting & Amazing Information On Flamingos
- There are six different species of flamingos, four of which are found in America and the other two in Africa, Asia and Europe. The American species are Chilean Flamingo, James’s Flamingo, Andean Flamingo and Caribbean Flamingo while the other two are Greater Flamingo and Lesser Flamingo.
- The legs of an adult flamingo are longer than its body.
- A flamingo’s eye is larger than its brain.
- The Andean flamingo is categorized as an endangered species by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Only 30,000 of them survive today.
- Flamingos are pinkish in color due to the intake of carotene present in the food that they eat.
- They are omnivorous and can filter as many as 20 beakfuls of algae-rich water in a second.
- Flamingos are defenseless birds. They don’t attack aggressors but are known to fly away to protect themselves.
- They eat with their head upside down, thus helping them to suck water and food in with the front of their bill.
- Young flamingos hatch with a grey plumage while the adults range from light pink to bright red.
- Flamingos have a wingspan of 55-65 inches when fully open.
- A vibrantly colored flamingo is considered to be well-fed and healthy while a white or pale flamingo is usually unhealthy or malnourished.
- Flamingos can often be seen standing on one leg, the other tucked beneath the body.
- The slender neck of a flamingo consists of a total of 19 bones.
- While standing in the water, the flamingos use their webbed feet in the mud to stir up food from the bottom.
- When incubating the egg, both the mother and father take turns in sitting on the egg and nursing the chick when it has hatched.
- The speed of a flock of flamingos can reach 31 to 37 miles per hour.
- Flamingos can fly 300 miles at a stretch to reach a new habitat.
- More than a million lesser flamingos found in Africa is the biggest flock of birds found anywhere in the world.
- The lifespan of these birds range from 20-30 years in the wild, though they may live up to 50 years when in captivity.
- Flamingos are commonly seen preening, which takes up most of their time at day.
- Keratin, a very tough protein, is a major structural block of the feathers and the beaks of flamingos.
- Female flamingos lay only one egg a year.
- An adult flamingo’s legs are longer than its body.
- Flamingos sit by extending their legs backwards.
- They are sociable and live in colonies to protect themselves from predators.
- A flamingo’s nest ranges from 12-20 inches in diameter. It is said that both, the mother and the father, partake in the nest building.