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An American flamingo (front), with a Chilean flamingos (back)
Scientific classification



A flock of James's flamingos during their mating ritual. The males vocalize and stick their necks and heads straight up in the air, turning them back and forth; females initiate mating by walking away.

Flamingos (audio speaker iconlisten ) are types of birds. They are noisy birds and they live in big groups called flocks. Flamingos are wading birds. This means they live by water, such as lakes.

They are in the genus Phoenicopterus and family Phoenicopteridae. There are six species of flamingo. Two of species are found in Africa, Europe and Asia. The other four are found in North America and South America.

Flamingos are pink or red. This is because of small bacteria that live in water which the flamingos eat. This small bacteria is known as carotenoids. This is a pigment that causes the plumage color you see on flamingos. They also eat small crayfish and algae. Baby flamingos are gray. Flamingos can fly. This is why they have wings. Flamingos are very tall birds and they have long legs. They often stand on only one leg. Scientsts found that they do this beacuse it takes less energy than standing on two legs. Flamingos have a curved bill that is shaped like a banana. This is because they feed in the mud on the bottom of lakes. Flamingos can weigh up to 4 kg and be up to 145cm tall. They live up to around 47 years.[1]

Conservation[change | change source]

Many flamingos that live in Kenya and Tanzania are dying. Scientists do not know why. They think it may be because of bacteria in the water.

Taxonomy[change | change source]

The Phonenicopteriformes is an order of birds, which contains the family of flamingos and two another families which are extinct.

Living species[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Hannover Zoo: Flamingo Archived 2012-07-13 at the Wayback Machine, viewed 2012-12-06