If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the American Flamingo and Greater Flamingo.
The six species of flamingo have similar nesting habits. They all breed in colonies. Mating rituals involve synchronized dancing. The nest is a pillar or mound of mud. A single chalky-white egg is laid per nesting attempt. Chicks, grey when first hatched, are fed a protein- and fat-rich diet of crop milk by both parents. Baby flamingos leave the nest around 7-12 days after hatching. Young birds gather in a group, called a creche, to evade predation as they grow.
Flamingos do well in captivity and breed if colony conditions are favorable, which include number of birds of breeding age and ratio of males to females. All of the example baby flamingo photos shared below were taken in zoological parks.
Because of their large size and flashy colors, flamingos capture the imagination of bird lovers and wildlife observers. And because some of the species in this family are facing threats to their survival, flamingos are often featured in the news. Here are some stories featuring these big pink beauties in the past few months.
WISTV – September 13, 2018 A zoo in the path of Hurricane Florence prepares for the coming storm by moving flamingos to indoor enclosures for safety. See video of the pink birds as they get ready to hunker down at the Columbia, South Carolina zoo.
The New York Times – August 11, 2018 For the first time in 15 years, Andean Flamingos are breeding in a wildlife reserve in Britain. Read about the work the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is Slimbridge is doing to help endangered species of flamingo.
Audubon.org – Spring 2018 Read about the comeback of the American Flamingo in the Bahamas, in part thanks to the preservation of habitat in Great Inagua National Park. This article includes some fabulous photographs of the species in wild habitats.
Finally, Flamboyance made its debut a few months ago. This shirt features all of the flamingo species in the world in a mixed flock. The collective noun for flamingo is -- you guessed it -- Flamboyance.
Also available on Amazon
The above t-shirt designs are also available from our store on Amazon:
We're celebrating flamingos this week! Let's learn about these pink beauties -- here are some frequently asked questions about flamingos.
Why do flamingos stand on one leg? The true reason that flamingos often stand one leg has long been debated. One popular theory is that a bird can conserve body temperature by tucking one leg into its feathers while standing in water, which may pull heat away from the body. Another theory has to do with the fact that flamingos are able to "shut down" half of their brain so they can both rest and remain vigilant for predators at the same time. The tucked-in leg is a kind of natural reaction to this state of partial sleep.
Why are flamingos pink? Flamingos hatch out of the egg grey, not pink. As they grow, they develop a pink plumage which is the result of natural pink pigments found in the food they eat. The pink or reddish plumage comes from carotenoids in the diet of both animals and plant plankton. The brightness of a bird's plumage relates to diet and the ratio of algae (darker/more pink plumage) consumed compared to small animals (more pale plumage).
Where do flamingos live? Of the six flamingo species, 4 live in the New World and 2 are found in the Old World.
The American Flamingo is the only species naturally occurring in North America. They are mostly found in the Caribbean, Central America, and along the northeastern coast of South America. There is a population on the Galapagos as well.
Chilean Flamigos are found along the western side of much of South America. Andean and James's Flamingos have a smaller range near the western coast along the Andes mountains.
Of the Old World flamingos, the Lesser is found in coastal and wetland habitats across sub-Saharan Africa, with a separate population in western India. The Greater Flamingo is found around sub-Saharan Africa as well as in coastal habitats in parts of the Middle East, southwestern Asia, and southern Europe.
What is the meaning of the name "flamingo"? The word flamingo is derived from the Portuguese flamengo or the Spanish flamenco, which means "flame-colored". The origin of the word comes from the old idea that Flemish people had a ruddy or reddish complexion.
Do flamingos migrate? Most flamingo species will migrate short distances during the year depending on availability of food and conditions of feeding grounds. Flooded habitat may be too deep for feeding; drought conditions may cause flamingos to move to a more favorable location for a season or longer.
How can you tell the different flamingo species apart? Flamingos all have the same general body shape, unique beak formation, long legs, and pink or pinkish plumage. How can you tell them apart? Pay attention to their size, and the color of the bill and the legs. Here are some simple tips.
New World warblers are famous for their fabulous colors, especially during spring migration when the birds have their fresh breeding plumage. For Warbler Week we've added five new warbler coloring pages to our free downloads collection: