The flamingo or flamingo  is a wading bird of the family Phoenicopteridae, the only extant family in the order Phoenicopteriformes. All flamingos are members of the bird family Papilionidae, and flamingos are the only birds that belong to this family. Flamingos are four different species of flocking birds commonly found in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe. There are six different species of flamingos ranging from the Caribbean and South America to Africa, India and the Mediterranean.
Large flamingos are found mainly in southern Europe, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa. The smaller flamingos are found mainly in northwestern India and sub-Saharan Africa. The American flamingo was once thought to be the same species as the greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) found in parts of Africa, Asia and southern Europe, but is now considered a separate species.
American flamingo-like birds include roseate spoonbills, ibises, white storks, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, egrets, painted storks, mute swans, and other flamingo species, including large and small flamingos. If American flamingos lack carotenoid pigments in their diet, they may look like white storks and great egrets. When flamingos don't have these pigments in their diet, they turn gray or white.
Flamingos can change color by eating colored food. Even if flamingos are fed blue or green food, they cannot theoretically switch to those colors. No, we can't make flamingos blue by feeding them blue food. Flamingos cannot extract known blue or green pigments from their food and turn them into blue or green feathers.
Feather coloration is due to carotenoid pigments found in flamingo food. The bright color of flamingo feathers is due to the presence of carotenoid pigments found in the algae and crustaceans that make up the flamingo's diet. Bright red, bright pink flamingos, corals, and oranges come from carotenoid pigments in algae and some crustaceans eaten by birds (similar to carrot pigment).
Birds tend to distinguish the carotenoid pigments of blue-green algae, which maintain the flamingo's pink color. Flamingos' feathers, legs, and faces are colored by a diet rich in alpha and beta carotenoid pigments. Over time, flamingos turn pink as their feathers are slowly stained with carotenoids in their diet. Flamingos get their pink or reddish color from the carotenoids they feed on animal and plant plankton.
Flamingos have the ability to take carotenoids and turn these food pigments into flamingo pink. Flamingos' bright pink feathers, beaks, and legs are the result of the pigment carotenoids. The flamingo is thought to have a genetic condition that causes it to produce more melanin than pigment, giving it a darker color instead of the usual pink. Black flamingos turn black instead of pink due to a genetic disorder called melanosis.
The color of flamingos' legs and feet varies by species - from yellow to orange or pink. As you can see, there are some differences in color between the different species of flamingos, although most of the time you will only see pink flamingos. If flamingos eat the right food, they may appear yellowish. Depending on what flamingos eat, they can also have orange plumage, and many flamingos have black wings.
Even though there are only six species of flamingos in the world, ornithologists and non-bird watchers can immediately recognize these colorful birds. There are many birds that look like flamingos, and the little birds that can best tell them apart will never confuse which bird is which. If you are an avid birdwatcher, you may have already seen a large flock of magnificent American flamingos, many of which stand on one leg. Flamingos are birds known for their long (webbed) legs, S-shaped neck, curved bill, and pink feathers.
Flamingos are omnivorous birds that feed on brine shrimp, algae, and snails. Filter-feeding flamingos feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae, as well as insect larvae, small insects, mollusks and crustaceans, making them omnivores. By eating blue-green algae, flamingos help control algae levels in many wetlands. Flamingos whose only diet consists of blue-green algae are darker than those that get them second-hand from animals that have digested blue-green algae.)
Most people think the green and blue flamingos story might be accurate because flamingos eat a lot of blue-green algae, but that's not the case. These green and blue theories are tempting because flamingos consume a lot of cyanobacteria, which one would think could theoretically make them green. American flamingos are brighter in color due to the beta-carotene in their diet, while smaller flamingos are pale pink because they consume less of this pigment. While smaller flamingos have pink plumage, their pink plumage is actually pinkish white, just like larger flamingos.
Young flamingos hatch with greyish-red plumage, but adults are light pink to bright red in color due to watery bacteria and beta-carotene obtained from their food. A notable exception are flamingos in captivity; they can turn pale pink if not fed carotene in quantities comparable to those found in the wild. Flamingo feathers get their wonderful rosy pink color from the pigments in the organisms that flamingos eat.
lesser flamingos Chilean flamingo pink coloration Andean flamingo long necks Caribbean flamingo wading birds flamingo chick beta carotene adult flamingo pink bills water birds bird species small population filter feed shallow water phoenicopterus chilensis Phoenicopteridae family flamingos filter-feed flamingo living.