The name Flamingo derives from the Latin meaning flame. There are six species of flamingo; Chilean, Caribbean, Andean Flamingo, James’ Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo and Greater Flamingo. Some species can be found in huge flocks of up to 1 million birds!
These distinctive birds have long legs and hooked bills; their long legs allow them to wade deeper into water than other birds. They feed by holding their beak upside down and filtering the algae and crustaceans out of the water.
Flamingos get their pink colouration from the food they eat, such as molluscs and small shrimp-like aquatic invertebrates. These are found in lagoons and/or alkaline lakes with little or no vegetation. The intensity of their pink colouring depends on the species. In captivity, they are fed on a specially prepared diet which helps to stop their pink colouration from fading.
Southern Europe, Central Asia, North West India, Southern Africa
Shallow lakes, coastal lagoons and mudflats
Algae, invertebrates, crustaceans