Interesting Facts About FLAMINGO

The Flamingo, a large wading bird, lives in big, shallow lakes, lagoons, mangrove swamps, tidal flats, and on sandy islands above the low tide mark. They are found in Africa, Asia, North America, Central America, South America, and Europe. Here are some interesting facts about these birds :-

1. Their beautiful color comes from the algae, diatoms, and small crustaceans that they eat, which are rich in the carotene pigment.

2. Flamingos live an average of 20 to 30 years. They rest by standing on one leg. The “knee” of the flamingo is actually an ankle joint and the lower leg bends forward.

3. Flamingos live in groups referred to as flocks or colonies. The large numbers provide safety against predators, especially while they feed with their heads underwater. They also don't nest unless there are other flamingos around.

4. A flock of flamingos taking off is a truly magnificent sight. They gather speed by running prior to taking off and flap their wings almost constantly during flight. A flock can reach 31 to 37 mph.

5. The word "flamingo" comes from the Spanish and Latin word "flamenco" which means fire, and refers to the bright color of the birds' feathers.

6. Adult flamingos range from 3.3 to 4.6 feet tall and weigh 3.3 to 9 pounds depending on their species. Wingspans range from 3.3 to 5 feet. There are 6 species of flamingo.

7. In recent times, changes in flamingo migration patterns have been witnessed due to environmental changes and global warming. These birds easily travel long distances and can cover over 300 miles at a stretch in a single night.

8. Contrary to their appearance, they are surprisingly fluid swimmers. Their webbed toes helps them swim and stand in soft mud. However, they don't swim unless the water is too deep to waddle in.

9. During the day flamingos preen using their bills and spreading oil from a gland near the base of their tail through their feathers. They spend 15 to 30% of the day preening.

10. Both parent regurgitate food which is fed to the baby, and both mother and father secrete a milk-like substance that provides their young with proper nourishment. This goes on till the baby's beaks have developed fully and they are capable of hunting for their own food.

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