Flamingos are wading birds in the family Phoenicopteridae. Flamingo comes from Portuguese or Spanish flamengo, "flame-colored".
Flamingos usually stand on one leg while the other is tucked beneath their body. The reason for this behavior is not fully understood. Recent research indicates that standing on one leg may allow the birds to conserve more body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water. However, the behavior also takes place in warm water.
A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored and thus a more desirable mate. 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 pink or reddish color of flamingos comes from carotenoids in their diet of animal and plant plankton.
Flamingos are very social birds; they live in colonies whose population can number in the thousands. Flamingos form strong pair bonds although in larger colonies flamingos sometimes change mates, presumably because there are more mates to choose from. Flamingo pairs establish and defend nesting territories. They locate a suitable spot on the mudflat to build a nest (the spot is usually chosen by the female). Both the male and the female contribute to building the nest, and to defending the nest and egg. (Info from Wikipedia)
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