Thursday, January 26, 2012

Today's Trivia - Flamingos

I bet you’re just dying to learn about flamingos but are too lazy or busy to search for information on them. Well, fret no more; I’ve done the legwork for you. This week’s useless trivia is all about flamingos. Aren’t you lucky to have me around to provide you with such fascinating information?

- Fossil records indicate that flamingos first roamed the earth about 30 million years ago.

- There are six different types of flamingos that range from Africa to Europe to Asia to South America and the Caribbean.

- They live in shallow lakes, lagoons, swamps, and areas where the ocean mixes with fresh water.

- Flamingos get their pink coloring from eating shrimp and other crustaceans that contain high levels of carotenes.

- They have webbed feet.

- Flamingos reach sexual maturity several years after hatching and usually begin to breed at about six years of age.

- Flamingo parents share the workload in child-rearing. They both build the nest, incubate the egg and nurse the chick when it hatches.

- They build nest mounds made of mud, small stones, straw, and feathers. These mounds can be as high as 30 cm (12 in.).

- Flamingos lay one egg at a time.

- The incubation period is between 26 and 31 days.

- Newly-hatched chicks have gray or white down feathers, a straight red bill, and plump, swollen red or pink legs.

- Parents are able to recognize their own chick by sight and vocalizations. They will feed no other chick.

- Flamingo chicks have gray eyes for approximately the first year of life. Adult flamingos have yellow eyes.

- The adults and chicks stay in the nesting site for the first six days. The chicks begin to move and explore their surroundings at about seven to twelve days.

- Flamingos are about four feet tall and have a wingspan of up to five feet.

- The average flamingo weighs about 3.5kg (7.7lbs)

- They live between 20 to 30 years.

- Flamingos, like pigeons, feed their young a milk-like substance that is formed in their digestive tract.

- In Ancient Rome, flamingo tongues were considered a delicacy.

- Ancient Egyptians believed flamingos to be the living representation of the god Ra.

- Pink plastic flamingo statues are popular lawn ornaments in the United States.

- Flamingos are very social birds. They live in colonies that can number in the thousands.

- Flamingos have little or no sense of smell, and their sense of taste is also poorly developed.

- They have good eyesight and well-developed color perception.

- Flamingos can drink hot water from geysers at temperatures that are almost boiling.

- Flight speed of a flock of flamingos can reach 50 to 60 kph (31-37 mph).

- Flamingos are generally very noisy birds. Vocalizations range from nasal honking to grunting or growling.

- Experts have not yet determined how long flamingos live. At the Philadelphia Zoo, one flamingo lived 44 years.

- Flamingos spend 15 to 30% of the day preening.


  1. They are probably Florida's number one yard ornament too. lol

  2. Wow, I'm amazed to know that flamingos have been around for 30 million years! No actual flamingos here in the mountains of North Carolina, but I'm very fond of the plastic ones that roam about my yard. I even have one with spinning wings. :-)

  3. They are an interesting bird - I find it interesting that they only reach sexual maturity six years after hatching - that seems like a long time for most animals, let alone a bird.

  4. @WebDebris: Ha ha...yes, I believe it!


    @Beth: That is cute! Your yard must be very colourful. Do the flamingos get along with the gnomes?


    @Jane: I know; it is strange. Not sure why they take so long.