Pink flamingos congregate in large, noisy groups. Flamingo flock sizes in the Americas, while sometimes large, are not quite as impressive as those of the Lesser Flamingos. In Africa and India, flocks of Lesser Flamingos often contain thousands of birds.
These groups of flamingos are usually called a Flamboyance. The collective noun flamboyance means to show off, a fitting term for large groups of bright pink flamingos.
Flamingos are bright, pink birds that do not look like any other bird in the animal kingdom. With their long, spindly legs and gracefully curving necks, they wade through shallow waters filter feeding on the brine shrimp that give them their characteristic pink color.
In addition to brine shrimp, flamingos feed on blue-green algae and small invertebrates such as insects and crustaceans. They stir up the muddy bottom and flip their head upside-down, filtering the muddied water with specialized hairs that line their unique beaks.
One characteristic of flamingos is that they commonly stand on one foot instead of two. Studies have shown that flamingos exert almost no energy when standing on one leg. It is the best way to conserve energy while standing for long periods.
Other collective nouns referring to groups of flamingos include:
Of the six extant flamingo species in the world, four are distributed throughout the Americas, and two are in Southern Europe, Southern Asia, India, and Africa. The Greater Flamingo is the largest species and has the biggest range.
Do Flamingos Flock Together in Groups?
Flamingos flock together in groups for survival reasons. While adult flamingos are not usually at risk from predators, coyotes, foxes, eagles, and other birds of prey hunt baby flamingos. These flocks offer the young chicks protection from predators.
Flocks of flamingos have higher rates of brood success than individual flamingos, especially in areas with little space for nesting. Several adults supervise juvenile flamingos from many parents. This group-babysitting behavior provides more protection for all of the young flamingos.
What is a Pair of Flamingos Called?
Many flamingos mate for life. These monogamous pairs stay together for as long as they can reproduce, often breeding for more than thirty years. In flocks with thousands of individuals, however, flamingos sometimes change mating partners from one season to the next.
Pairs of flamingos do not have a specific name, likely because they are not often seen as a simple pair but as part of a larger flock. During the breeding season, all mating pairs build nests together instead of separating into different areas.
Flamingos court briefly to initiate the mating season since all flamingos breed at the same time. Males and females work together to build their nests out of the mud but prefer stealing a nest built by another pair. Flamingos aggressively defend their nest while they incubate their egg.
What is a Group of Baby Flamingos Called?
Flamingos typically lay only one egg per season. Each mating pair of flamingos lays its egg at the same time. Male and female flamingos take turns incubating the eggs for approximately one month before the eggs hatch.
Within five days of the eggs hatching, the baby flamingos walk out of the nest and gather in groups until feeding time, when they return to their parents.
A baby flamingo is sometimes called a flaminglet. Other names for baby flamingos include chicks, juveniles, and hatchlings.
When the juvenile flamingos leave their nests and gather together, they are watched by a group of adult flamingos.
These groups of juvenile flamingos are often called a creche. Groups of these baby flamingos are also sometimes referred to as a nursery.
These birds have a noisy, raucous call instead of a melodic sound. Each flamingo has a unique vocal footprint. For this reason, parents can identify the vocalizations of their babies. When it is feeding time, juveniles leave the nursery and call out to their parents to locate them.
Baby flamingos are fed crop “milk” that comes from both parents. Flamingo crop “milk” is a regurgitated red substance full of nutrients necessary for the growth of the baby flamingo. While adult flamingos feed their babies, they lose some of their pink color.
Not much is known about the crop “milk,” but other birds produce it to feed their young, including male and female pigeons and male emperor penguins. Studies have shown that crop “milk” from pigeons is similar to mammalian milk and consists of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Do Flamingos Migrate?
Many flamingo populations move throughout the year, but scientists do not always consider these movements to be specifically migratory. Instead, many researchers believe flamingos should be considered nomadic. The reason for these movements depends on where the birds reside.
Flamingos that nest in more temperate areas will migrate when the weather begins to cool off during the winter. They move to warmer places that have an ample food supply. Flamingos in areas with definite rainy and dry seasons, like Africa, migrate to follow the rains.
Some flamingos live in places that are warm year-round with plenty of food. Some of these populations only migrate short distances. For example, flamingos in the Caribbean only relocate a short distance to Cuba.
Flamingos are a more ancient bird than any other modern bird. Their fossils have been found as far back as the Eocene, which was 50 million years ago. These unique birds also live longer lives than other species. The record age of a flamingo that lived in a zoo was 83 years old.