15 Cool Flamingo Fun Facts
Check out these fabulously fun flamingo facts and see how much you know about these pink birds and their habits!
It's time for some fun feathery facts all about flamingos! These pink birds are some of the coolest animals out there! Find out cool facts all about flamingos, including why they're pink, how tall they get, and what the word flamingo means! And if you liked these, there's more amazing animal facts here! How about these super sloth facts? Or maybe you're keen on these turtlelly cool turtle facts? And if you're looking for more bird-brained trivia, what about these silly swan facts?
1. Flamingos Aren't Actually Pink!
Well, at least not naturally! They're actually white! Their pink colouring comes from their food - the microscopic algae that the shrimp they eat feed on! If they don't get enough of these algae, they lose their colouring!
2. They Are Found All Over The Word
Flamingos are found in North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe - that's almost every continent! Flamingo populations are currently pretty healthy, and because of that they aren't endangered - hooray!
3. They Make Nests Out of Mud
Flamingos are water birds - they live and feed by the water, and they make their nests there too. So it's only natural that they make them out of the most abundant substance found by water - mud! They're muddy nests are home to one egg per year, which both parents take it in turns to look after.
4. They Eat Upside Down!
If you see a flamingo feeding, you might notice that they tip they're heads upside down. This is because they need to filter their food out of the water - the beak acts a bit like a sieve and gets rid of all the water and extra bits they don't want to eat!
5. They Can Sleep Standing On One Leg
Nobody knows why flamingos do this, but they're famous for it! Scientists think there might be a number of reasons why they do this - to preserve energy, staying warm or just because its easier! It's a mystery!
6. A Group of Flamingos is Called a 'Flamboyance'
A group of flamingos is called a flamboyance! You can also call them a colony or a stand, but flamboyance is much more fun! Other collective nouns for birds include a 'Gaggle of Geese' a 'Murder of Crows' and a 'Kettle of Swallows'!
7. There Are Six Different Species of Flamingos
They are the Chilean flamingo, lesser flamingo, greater flamingo, Caribbean flamingo, Andean flamingo and puna flamingo. That's a lot of flamingos! The most common species is the lesser flamingo, which is found in Africa and Asia.
8. Their Eggs Are Sometimes Pink!
At least, the yolks are! Usually they are red or orange, like a chicken egg, but occasionally if they have enough pink microbes in their diet, their egg yolks are slightly pink too! Wonder if it tastes any different?
9. The Romans Liked to Eat Their Tongues!
Yeuch! Apparently, flamingo tongue was a popular roman delicacy enjoyed by emperors and other rich people in ancient Rome! Do you fancy chowing down on some flamingo tongue? Probably not!
10. There Are More Plastic Flamingos in the USA Than Real Ones!
Plastic pink flamingos are a common site on lawns in the USA, after it was designed in 1957 by Don Featherstone. They are now more common in the US than actual flamingos! They are also the official mascot of Madison, Wisconsin!
11. They Can Live For Up To Thirty Years
In the wild, flamingos can live for as long as 30 years, but they have been known to live up to 70 years in captivity, making them some of the worlds longest living birds.
12. They Live in Groups of Thousands
Flamingos are very social animals and like to live in colonies - groups of thousands of birds. Some colonies are so big that they contain up to 1 million birds!
13. Their Knees Are Actually Their Ankles
You might wonder why flamingos have legs that 'bend backwards' - actually they don't! What might look like a flamingos knee is actually its ankle - yes, they have super long feet!
14. The Word Flamingo Means 'Fire'
The word 'flamingo' comes from the Spanish word 'flamengo' which means 'flame-coloured'. It's probably a reference to their bright fiery feathers!
15. They Can Grow Very Tall
The greater flamingo (the clues in the name) can grow up to almost 6 foot tall - as much as a grown man! Lesser flamingos only grow to about half that, 3 foot.