Captive flamingos are a notable exception; many turn a pale pink as they are not fed carotene at levels comparable to the wild.
Other scientists proposed flamingos as waders most closely related to the stilts and avocets, Recurvirostridae.
The relationships of the flamingos still cannot be resolved with any certainty, but presently a close relationship with grebes appears somewhat more likely than other proposals.
A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored and thus considered a more desirable mate.
The first and smaller one, Metaves, contains flamingos and grebes, alongside the hoatzin, pigeons, sandgrouse, the Caprimulgiformes, the Apodiformes, tropicbirds, mesites, sunbittern, and kagu.
Flamingos are slender-bodied and large in size, ranging from 80 to 160 centimeters (31.5 to 63 inches) in height and from 2.5 to 3.5 kilograms (5.5 to 7.7 pounds) in weight (Grzimek et al.
Flamingos are found in both the Old World and New World.
Young flamingos hatch with gray plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta carotene obtained from their food supply.
Some placed flamingos within an expanded (and certainly paraphyletic, as is now known) Ciconiiformes.
Zoo-fed flamingos may be given food with the additive canthaxanthin, which is often also given to farmed salmon.
Flamingos filter-feed on tiny mollusks and crustaceans, such as brine shrimp, utilizing their sieve like bills to capture the prey.
Flamingos constitute the family Phoenicopoteridae, which is generally placed in its own order Phoenicopteriformes (Grzimek et al.
The identity of the closest relatives of the flamingos is a rather contentious issue.
All species of flamingos are very long-legged, and long-necked water birds with down-curved bills adapted for filter feeding (Grzimek et al.
Traditionally, the long-legged Ciconiiformes, probably a paraphyletic assemblage, have been considered the flamingos' closest relatives and the family was included in the order.
When wading, flamingos frequently stand on one leg.
Flamingos are gregarious animals, flocking in large numbers (hundreds or even millions).
Flamingos produce a "milk" like pigeon milk due to the action of a hormone called prolactin.
An extinct family of peculiar "swimming flamingos," the Palaelodidae, was initially believed to be the ancestors of the Phoenicopteridae.
Black and white plumage also is part of the flamingos natural color, such as the black tips of the wings of Phoenicopterus ruber.
To reflect the uncertainty about this matter, flamingos began to be placed in their own order later on.
Both parents nurse their chick, and young flamingos feed on this milk, which also contains red and white blood cells, for about two months until their bills are developed enough to filter feed.
A considerable number of little-known birds from the Late Cretaceous onwards are sometimes considered to be flamingo ancestors.
Any future attempt to finally resolve the flamingos' relationships, therefore, would have to employ total evidence to support it and carefully weigh the data against alternative proposals.
A white or pale flamingo, however, is usually unhealthy or malnourished.
Flamingos live in large groups called colonies. Some colonies consist of million birds. Baby flamingos will hatch in the nest made of mud. Flamingos are monogamous (they have just one partner) and they produce one egg each year. ... The visible "knee" of the flamingo is actually ankle joint.
The lesser flamingo's eggs and chicks are preyed upon by several birds. The lappet-faced and white-headed vultures feed on eggs, young flamingos, and dead flamingos. The Egyptian vulture feeds mostly on flamingo eggs. This bird has also been observed dropping and destroying eggs that it does not eat.
Flamingos at San Francisco Zoo. In the wild, flamingos eat algae, crustaceans, brine shrimp, diatoms, and aquatic plants. At the zoo, a special “flamingo fare” is served. To preserve their rosy color at the zoo, flamingos are fed a commercially prepared diet high in carotenoids.
Flamingos filter-feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae. Their bills are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, and are uniquely used upside-down. The filtering of food items is assisted by hairy structures called lamellae which line the mandibles, and the large rough-surfaced tongue.