Flamingos are uniquely designed birds. Their lengthy legs allow them to easily wade in muddy or sandy lakes and lagoons. The bend in the middle of the leg, which most would assume is the knee, is actually the ankle. Knees are much closer to the body. Flamingos frequently stand on one leg to keep the tucked foot warm and conserve body heat.

Flamingos are not born with their vivid pink coloration. Newly hatched chicks are covered with gray or white down feathers and acquire their pink adult plumage after about three years. The algae and various invertebrates that make up a flamingo’s diet are rich in the pigments that contribute to their coloration.

Q: How tall are they?
SW: Caribbean flamingos are 31 to 57 inches tall. Lesser flamingos are the smallest flamingo species measuring just 31 to 35 inches tall.

Q: Where do they live?
SW: Caribbean flamingos are found in the Caribbean, the northern coast of South America, and Galápagos Islands. They make their homes in tropical and subtropical saltwater lakes and lagoons. Lesser flamingos live in eastern, southwestern and western Africa and India and Pakistan.

Q: Are they endangered?
SW: Caribbean flamingos are not currently endangered, though populations are suffering due to habitat and breeding site loss. Lesser flamingos are more severely impacted by these threats, as they breed in only three locations in all of South Africa.