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Fun Flamingo Facts

17 Jun 2019


Love flamingos? Discover a ‘flamboyance’ of flamingos and other facts

Flamingos are majestic and iconic birds, known for their long stilt-like legs, long s-shaped neck and beautiful pink feathers.


Here are some fun facts about these graceful and social birds…

  1. You know the expression “you are what you eat?” Flamingos get their famous reddish-pink colour from pigments found in the algae and invertebrates they eat. They mostly eat algae, larvae, small crustaceans and also dine on shrimp
  2. It takes flamingos about three years to get their pink and red feathers
  3. A group of flamingos is called a ‘flamboyance’ or a ‘stand’
  4. The word flamingo comes from the Spanish word ‘flamenco’ meaning fire, which refers to the colour of the feathers
  5. There are six flamingo species, including the greater flamingo, of which we have here at Pensthorpe but there is also the Chilean flamingo, lesser flamingo, Caribbean flamingo, Andean flamingo and puna flamingo
  6. As a colony, males and females perform an elaborate courtship dance to attract a mate, which involves marching, head flagging, wing saluting and chattering
  7. Flamingos can live a long time – about 20 to 30 years in the wild or about 60 years in a zoo. In the wild, their biggest threats are predators like eagles and even baboons
  8. The flamingo has extremely long legs and the legs of an adult flamingo are actually longer than the bird’s body, measuring between 31.5 to 49 inches, depending on the species
  9. The flamingo’s ankle is located halfway up the leg
  10. Flamingos are wetland birds and live by lagoons and lakes
  11. They are social birds and can live in colonies of thousands
  12. Their flight feathers, under their wings, are black and you can see them when they are flying


At Pensthorpe we have a resident flock of 49 greater flamingos who live in the Wetland Discovery Area, where they reside in a splendid purpose-built habitat, illustrative of tropical lagoons more commonly found in southern Spain.

To celebrate these beautiful birds, which are popular with all ages, we are holding a new Flamingo Fiesta family weekend event on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June 2019.

This is your chance to visit them in their home, join in with special flamingo trails and listen to fun flamingo storytelling sessions.

We caught up with Chrissie, who looks after our flamingo flock, to find out about these birds: “Flamingos are Pensthorpe’s ambassador for wetland habitats and very popular with our visitors. They are a social bird with individual characteristics, making them a fascinating species to observe. Wetlands are declining globally and our flamingos will help us tell this key story while having lots of fun at our Flamingo Fiesta weekend.”


Click here to find out more about Flamingo Fiesta.