Here in Colorado, we have a soft spot for anything unique, colorful, and exciting. The feathery and fabulous flamingo fits that bill perfectly. Whether you’re visiting these birds at one of our wonderful zoos or snapping pictures during an exotic vacation, there are plenty of reasons to admire the flamingo. Are you curious to learn more about these charming, fascinating creatures? Check out these three fun facts about flamingos you didn’t know.
They Are What They Eat
Pink is the most iconic look for flamingos, but their feathers can show up as pink, orange, red, or even gray or white. This is because flamingos get their color from the food they eat. Wild flamingos feast on a diet of plankton, algae, shrimp, and other crustaceans. The plankton and crustaceans provide the flamingos with beta carotene—the same pigment that gives carrots and other vegetables their red-orange color. The more pigment in their diet, the brighter the flamingos’ feathers will be.
They’re Incredible Fliers
While we often see flamingos wading in pools of water, they’re extremely powerful fliers. In fact, many flamingos migrate annually or fly between the best food sources and nesting grounds. When traveling in a flock, flamingos can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Despite this impressive feat, they still look awkward and gangly while in the air. This is because their long legs and necks stretch out farther from their body than those of most birds, making their flight seem clumsier than usual.
A Familiar Family Structure
A lot of fun facts about flamingos revolve around their family structure. Did you know that flamingos are monogamous? They also take turns with the parental duties, such as watching over the egg or feeding their newborn chick. A flamingo couple will only lay one egg in a year. Even if they lose that egg to predators or other unfortunate events, they likely won’t lay a replacement until the following year. For this reason, a flock of flamingos takes a while to recover after a natural disaster. If they lose too many eggs, it might take some time for their population to grow again.
Want to share your love of flamingos with the world? Our Colorado stickers, masks, and other accessories come in many varieties, including tropical flamingo designs. Visit our shop today to stock up on all your favorite gear!