Flamingo Facts

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Flamingos can be distinguished by their long necks, sticklike legs, and reddish or pink feathers. Flamingos represent the saying “you are what you consume.” Flamingo feathers are pinkish and reddish due to the fact that they consume pigments from algae and other invertebrates.

According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System, (ITIS) There are six kinds of flamingos: Chilean flamingo (greater flamingo), Andean flamingo (lesser flamingo), Chilean flamingo (andean flamingo), James’ (or puna) the flamingo, American the flamingo (or Caribbean).

The greater flamingo is by far the tallest species. It can stand 3.9 feet up to 4.7 feet (1.25 to 1.45 meters) tall and be as heavy as 7.7 pounds. (3.5 kilograms) according to Sea World. The lesser flamingo weighs the most compact one, with a length of 2.6 feet (80cm) and weighing 5.5 pounds. (2.5 kg). Flamingos’ wingspans are 37 inches (95cm) and 59 inches (150cm).

Habitat

American flamingos reside in the West Indies, Yucatan, in northern South America and along the Galapagos Islands. Chilean, Andean and James’ flamingos live in South America, and the smaller and greater flamingos are in Africa. Additionally, you can find larger flamingos in India and the Middle East.

Diet

According to Sea World, Flamingos eat small fish and larvae, as well as red and blue-green algae, blue-green and roe algae and crustaceans. Their propensity to eat meat and vegetation is what makes them Omnivores.

The pink color of Flamingos comes from the fact that their diet is high in beta carotene. This organic chemical is an orange-reddish color that is known as a reddish. (Beta carotene is found in numerous plants, but is most prominently found in spinach, tomatoes, sweet potato, pumpkins, and carrots, obviously.) Similar pigment-packing carotenoids are found in the crustaceans and Mollusks that flamingos consume.

The levels of carotenoid in their diets vary across areas of the world This is the reason American flamingos typically are bright orange and red, however, flamingos from the drought-plagued Lake Nakuru in central Kenya tend to be a paler pink.

If a flamingo was to cease eating foods containing carotenoids, its feathers would grow with a paler shade, and its reddish feathers would eventually begin to molt. Feathers that have molted have lost their pink color.

The food a flamingo will eat depends on what type of beak it has. The bill of Andean, James’, and Lesser flamingos are known as a “deep-keeled” bill. They feed mostly on algae. The American, Chilean, and Chilean Flamingos are bigger and have deeper-keeled bill, which allows them to eat tiny fish, invertebrates and even insects.

Flamingos eat by stirring the bottom of the lake with their feet, then diving their beaks into waters and mud in order to catch their meals.

Habits

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Groups of flamingos are called colonies or flocks. The colonies cooperate to defend one another from predators, and take care of their babies.

The the flamingos are monogamous according to Sea World. Once they mate, they tend to stay with that mate. The flamingos of a group are able to mate at the same time, so all chicks hatch together. Pairs will make nests out of mounds of mud and females will lay one egg at a time, according to Smithsonian National Zoo.

The eggs are a little larger than larger chicken eggs, measuring 3 to 3.5 inches (78-90 millimeters long) and 4 to 5 pounds (115-140 grams). It can take between 27 and 31 days for the egg to hatch. The chick that will emerge will weigh 2.5 to 3.0 pounds (73-90 grams) in weight. The chicks mature between three and five years of age.

Baby flamingos are gray or white. In the early years of their lives, they’ll become pink. Flamingos are able to live between 20 and 30 years in the wild and as long as 50 years in the Zoo.

Other facts

Evidence from fossils suggests that the species that evolved flamingos very old , and it was formed around 30 million years ago. This was before several other orders of avian species had developed, as per Sea World.

It isn’t really known why flamingos stand on their feet However, it has been theorized that keeping one of their feet out of cold water helps them to save body heat. They also consider it to be an ideal position to relax in.

Although flamingos are believed to be tropical birds, they can still live and thrive in cold areas as long as there’s plenty of water and food available.

More than 1 million flamingos are believed to gather in East Africa, creating the largest known group of birds.