The Flamingo may be the most Fabulous of all the bird species. Think about it.
They’re the bird of choice for *gracing peoples lawns since 1957. Other birds would be tickled pink to be so long legged and curvaceous. They look cool and live in “hot” places like Miami and the Flamingo Hilton in Vegas. They look good wearing sunglasses and move gracefully. It wouldn’t be so bad to be a Flamingo.
DID YOU KNOW?
The word “flamingo” comes from the Spanish and Latin word “flamenco” which means fire, and refers to the bright color of the birds’ feathers.
Flamingos are strong but rare swimmers and powerful fliers, even though they’re most often seen just wading.
When flying in a flock, the top speed of a flamingo can be as high as 35 miles per hour.
Flamingos hold their bills upside down while feeding, often for several hours a day, so they can filter out their food while skimming the water.
A flamingo chick’s bill is small and straight, but will develop the distinct “break” curve after a few months.
Flamingos are monogamous birds that lay only a single egg each year. If that egg is lost or damaged, they do not typically lay a replacement.
Flamingo chicks are born gray or white and take up to three years to reach their mature pink, orange or red plumage.
The pink, orange or red color of a flamingo’s feathers is caused by carotenoid pigments in their food, and a flamingo’s diet includes shrimp, plankton, algae and crustaceans.
A adult flamingo’s legs can be 30-50 inches long, which is longer than their entire body.
A flock of flamingos is called a stand or a flamboyance.
Flamingos have a wild lifespan of 20-30 years, but in captivity have been recorded as living up to 50 years or longer.
The most prominent threats to flamingos include predators, habitat loss and poaching for decorative feathers as well as humans hunting flamingos to gather eggs as food or to harvest their tongues as meat.
*In case you are dying to know…Don Featherstone of Massachusetts is the inventor of the pink plastic lawn flamingo. You’re welcome.
Photos: d. king