Flamingo Secrets You Can't Easily See
- Caribbean flamingos
- Lesser flamingos
- Greater flamingos
- James’s (Puna) flamingos
- Chilean flamingos
- Andean flamingos
Flamingo nests look like miniature mud volcanos, shaped to support one large egg. Parents work together to build the nest and incubate an egg.
- Chicks hatch with fluffy white-grey down and straight bills.
- At age 3 they are fully feathered, turning pink, with a filtering curved bill.
To eat, flamingos place their heads upside down in the water with their bill pointed toward their feet. They sweep side-to-side, pulling and pushing the water through their bill's comb-like filter using their tongue as a pump. The Comb-like plates along the edge of their bill filter the water while trapping food inside their mouth.
Flamingos are pink because their food sources are rich in carotenoids. (Carotenoids give carrots their orange, turn tomatoes red.) As a flamingo filters algae and brine shrimp, it metabolizes the pigments creating it's pink to orangish feathers. They also filter and eat small seeds, tiny crustaceans, fly larvae, and other plants and animals that live in shallow waters.
- A group of flamingos is called a flamboyance.
- Flamingos keep cool in warm climates by standing in water.
- Flamingo legs bend like human legs. What looks like a flamingo knee is actually their ankle. A flamingo’s knees are hidden by their body and feathers.
Basically, flamingos are always on tiptoe. Even when they are sleeping on one leg.
Feel like giving flamingos a leg up in life? Visit the Flamingo Gardens Sanctuary.