Interesting & fun facts about flamingos! Did you know there are 6 different species of flamingos and that they eat insects? How about that flamingos are actually related to ducks and geese? They’re also known for their bright colors and long necks.
These are just a few of the fun facts about flamingos that the kids will find interesting as they learn more about these beautiful birds.
10 Fun Facts About Flamingos Kids Will Find Interesting
1. A flamingo gets his color from the food they eat.
Their beautiful pink, orange, or red feathers are caused by carotene in the food they eat. Carotene is what gives fruits and vegetables it’s own food and wild flamingos enjoy dining on shrimp, plankton, algae, and crustaceans. As a flamingo dines on algae and brine shrimp, its body absorbs the pigments which in turn gives the flamingo their pink color.
2. Flamingos have pink feet.
Flamingos are one of the few bird species that have pink feet. Their toes are covered with tiny scales called papillae, which help them grip slippery surfaces.
3. Flamingos can measure up to 5 feet tall.
When standing straight up, the greater flamingo species can measure up to about 5 feet tall. Even though they can grow tall, they only weight about 8 pounds.
4. Their wingspan is 37-39 in.
When flamingos spread their wings, the wingspan can measure anywhere from 37-39 inches. The lesser, greater, and Caribbean flamingos have larger wingspans. Flamingos also have 12 flight feathers located in each wing. These are black feathers that are only visible when the wings are extended.
5. They eat insects.
Greater, Caribbean, and Chilean flamingos eat insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, and flies. In fact, flamingos are one of only two bird species known to consume insects.
6. Their nests are made from mud.
If you look at a flamingo’s nest, you’ll notice that it looks a lot like a volcano that’s made out of mud and stands about 12-24 inches high. Both mom and dad work together to create a nest, that’s made to fit only one egg and will help protect and incubate the egg.
7. Flamingos turn their heads upside down to eat.
When it’s time to for a flamingo to eat, it will turn its head upside down in the water. You will see them turn their head side to side using their tongue to push water out of it’s bill while the trapping the food inside.
8. There are 6 species of flamingos.
- Caribbean flamingos
- Lesser flamingos
- Greater flamingos
- Puna flamingos
- Chilean flamingos
- Andean flamingos
9. Flamingos are social.
Flamingos are social birds so you will typically find them in pairs, a couple of pairs, grouped up with as many as tens of thousands. Living in flocks also helps protect themselves from predators.
10. Flamingo means “fire” in Spanish & Latin
The word “flamingo” comes from the Spanish and Latin word “flamenco,” which means fire.
More interesting facts about flamingos
- A flock of flamingos can also be called a stand, regiment, or flamboyance. A group of baby flamingos, or chicks, is called creches.
- Flamingos can fly. They will typically fly at night to migrate and find a warmer area when the temps are start to get cool,
- They can sleep standing on one leg.
- They are water birds and enjoy living near bodies of water like lakes or lagoons.
- Flamingos can live 20-30 years in the wild.
- Black flamingos are rare, but do exist.
We hope you enjoyed these fun facts about flamingos interesting! We’ve created a printable version below that you can download.
Check out some of our other “fun fact” series:
Flamingo Fact Printable + Trivia Questions
The printable is a 2 page packet which includes fun facts about flamingos as well as a flamingo trivia page for kids to research and answer.