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Flamingo Facts for Kids

A flamingo is a member of the bird family. It is larger than many North American birds, which are typically only around 6 inches long. Flamingos are more similar to storks than these smaller birds. They live around the world, can fly up to 100 miles in one stretch, and live together in colonies. The birds are well-recognized worldwide, for their distinctly skinny and tall legs, their bright pink color and their long necks.

What is the scientific Classification of a Flamingo?

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Phoenicopteriformes
Family: Phoenicopteridae
Genus: Phoenicopterus
Species: P. roseus (Greater Flamingo), P. minor (Lesser Flamingo), P. chilensis (Chilean Flamingo), P. jamesi (James’ Flamingo), P. andinus (Andean Flamingo), P. ruber (American Flamingo)

Quick fun facts about Flamingos

Latin name:
P. roseus, P. minor, P. chilensis, P. jamesi, P. andinus, P. ruber

Location of Flamingos:
Flamingos are present all over the world. They are most commonly found in AfricaEuropeAsia, South America, Latin America, the Caribbean and North American. The birds live together in large colonies.

Flamingos breeding:
Flamingos reach sexual maturity at the age of around six or seven years. The birds pair up with each other when they decide to mate, which takes place at any time of year, and not during a specific season, as is the case with some other animal species. The pair stays together after the mating has taken place, as their bond is very strong (however, the birds are known to mate with more than one partner over the course of a lifetime). While together, the male and female flamingo build a nest around their egg. After the egg is laid, the flamingos take turns incubating the egg, or keeping it at the proper temperature for the development of the baby.

Flamingos color:
The color of flamingos typically ranges from white, to light pink to dark pink. The color of the bird’s feathers depends on how much algae, diatoms and crustaceans that the birds eat, as these foods contain beta carotene, which has the ability to change the color of their feather coats.

Life expectancy of Flamingos:
Flamingos in the while typically live between 20 and 30 years. Their life spans primarily depend on their natural habitat, climate conditions and the presence of predators. In extreme instances, the bird has been known to live up to 50 years.

Predators of the Flamingo:
Flamingos are often preyed upon when they are small chicks. Animals also have been known to steal flamingo eggs before they hatch. Cheetahs, lions, hyenas, leopards and jaguars hunt the birds that are native to Africa.

What is a baby Flamingo known as:
A baby flamingo, as it is part of the bird family, is known as a chick. A chick is the most common name for babies of all species of birds.

Female Flamingos are called:
A female flamingo is referred to simply as a female flamingo.

Male Flamingos are called:
A male flamingo is referred to simply as a male flamingo.

A group of Flamingos is called:
A group of flamingos is called a colony. Flamingos live in large colonies. A group of very young flamingos gather together in what is called a crèche.

What does a Flamingo look like?
Flamingos are very top-heavy birds in appearance. They have two very skinny and tall legs. Their knee joint, which divides the legs in half, bend in both directions, allowing the bird a great range of flexibility and mobility. They are able to entirely tuck their legs underneath their bodies such that they are no longer seen. The birds have long necks with a curved beak.

The birds are covered in feathers, with colors ranging from white, to light pink to dark pink. The color of the bird’s feathers depends on how much algae, diatoms and crustaceans that the birds eat, as these foods contain beta carotene, which has the ability to change the color of their feather coats.

How tall is a Flamingo? 
Flamingos are typically around 48 inches tall when their necks are fully extended. Their wingspans are usually around 60 inches, or 12 inches wider than their height on average.

How much does a Flamingo weigh? 
Flamingos typically weigh between three and ten pounds. The birds carry all their weight in their body. They have very long narrow necks, and legs that can be as narrow as a pencil.

What do Flamingos Eat?
Flamingos primarily eat algae. They wade into short water, their bodies remaining above water, and dip their heads beneath the surface to see out small water life and algae. The birds also eat shrimp, mollusks, insects, snails and clams, when available in their natural habitats.

History of the plastic pink flamingo
Pink plastic flamingo lawn ornaments were invented in 1957 by Don Featherstone, an artist who grew up and currently resides in Massachusetts. He was a sculptor with Union Products his entire life, eventually becoming the company’s president. When he retired, his entire life’s work included 750 sculptures. His current house has 57 pink flamingos adorning the front yard.

Conservation status of Flamingos:

None of the six flamingo species have been specifically added to the IUCN’s conservation status vulnerable or endangered species lists yet. However, thousands of flamingos living in Africa are dying and animal experts are unsure of the reason. Speculations include diseases, avian cholera, botulism poisonous metal or bacteria or accidental ingestion of pesticides.