1 The word ‘flamingo’ comes from the Spanish word ‘flamenco’ meaning fire, which refers to the bright pink or orange colour of the feathers.
2 There are six flamingo species, including the greater, Chilean, lesser, Caribbean, Andean and puna.
3 The bright colour of their feathers is caused by the presence of carotenoid pigments found in the algae and crustaceans that make up the diet of a flamingo. The inside of of a flamingo’s egg, their skin and the crop milk adults feed their chicks for the first few days is also pink!
4 Little grey flamingo chicks hatch atop a mud nest constructed by the adults and take up to three years to attain their full mature plumage.
5 During a colony’s breeding time, a high ranking individual will influence the rest of the flock to breed by changing its feather colour to a deeper pink, kick-starting the breeding rituals.
6 The pinkest birds have the highest status in the colony as the bright colour shows that a particular individual is strong and good at finding food resources.
7 Males and females perform a spectacular courtship dance to attract a mate. Once formed, flamingo pair bonds are mostly monogamous.
8 Flamingos can live a long time, some individuals have been recorded at 70 years of age.