Here at Collective Hub, we celebrate the ideas (and the creators) that really stand out and make an impact. Adored for its distinctive colouring and flamboyant character, the flamingo is one feathered friend that’s anything but understated.
Here’s 7 reasons why we thought this blush-coloured bird deserved a prime spot on our January cover.
Flamingos don’t shy away from their responsibilities.
In the flamingo world, parenting isn’t just for the females: both the male and female flamingos secrete a milk-like feed from their throats (called ‘crop milk’) and take turns in feeding their young.
They also build their nest together and alternate sitting on their egg, which has a gestation time of approximately 28 days.
Their eye-catching colour is a sign of their health.
Their bright pink colour is a result of a beta-carotene rich diet that is obtained through their food sources. Some species that have been in captivity have white feathers – this is a result of the loss of specific nutrients of carotenoid pigments that are found in the crustaceans and plankton they subsist. This diet works to keep their feathers pink.
Flamingos are very social animals.
The flamingo doesn’t like isolation and is rarely found alone. They spend the majority of time in groups, the average consisting of around 70 birds but groups of flamingos up to a million strong have been recorded. Even their quest for a mate isn’t private – they perform their mating rituals in a group.
Flamingos are faithful.
Even though they may spend their time in the company of thousands of other companions, flamingos are among the few species that are monogamous – they will generally only mate with one female throughout their lifetime.
They can thrive in situations you wouldn’t expect.
The lifespan of a flamingo is approximately 20-30 years but can be almost double that in captivity, surprisingly. This is providing of course, that they are kept with a group of other flamingos, as they would naturally congregate in the wild.
They prove that ‘ugly duckling syndrome’ can be overcome.
Baby flamingos aren’t nearly as impressive as their adult counterparts – they begin life with fluffy, grey feathers and straight, indistinctive beaks. Eventually though, they begin to transform after three years to develop the brightly coloured feathers of their parents.
They’re so fabulous, linguistics has named them accordingly.
Firstly, the word ‘flamingo’ is said to be derived from the Latin ‘flamma’, meaning flame and get this: one of the collective nouns for a flock of flamingos is a ‘flamboyance’. Enough said.