Known for their bright pink colors, legs that are like stilts and long S-shaped necks, flamingos are quite a peculiar family of birds in the animal kingdom. They are quite unique in their appearance due to these qualities. Flamingos can be found mostly in warm and watery regions in a lot of places in the world.
Their favorite environments are saline and alkaline lakes along with estuaries where the rivers meat the sea. Their long stilt like legs allow them to easily traverse in the mud flats where they feed and breed but they are also known to be good swimmers despite their unusual shape.
The bills on the flamingos are bent which allows them to feed on small organisms like tiny fish, fly larvae and plankton which is found abundantly in the watery regions they live in. Their long legs and webbed feet allow them to stir up the bottom which helps them get to the tiny organism that they love to feed on.
Once they manage to stir up the bottom, they stick their bills into the water, sucking up the water along with the mud. Their bills act like filters which allows them to separate their food from the water and swallow their food easily.
The pink color that flamingos have is actually because of their diet of the tiny crustaceans that are found where they feed and breed. This is also the reason why the flamingos raised in captivity have a very pale and white color instead of the signature pink that they are famous for.
Flamingos live in colonies or flocks, finding safety in their numbers. The younger flamingos are born with white feathers all over their bodies that are soft. Their bills are also straight when they are younglings. As the flamingo chicks grow up, their bills grow and they become bent. They also start taking on the iconic pink color as they age and start eating the crustaceans.
Flamingo chicks leave their nests after about 5 days and join other young flamingos in the flock. They return to their parents when it comes to feed. After about three weeks among other young flamingos that rely on their parents for the food, the adults herd the young flamingos into groups that start to look for the food on their own.