Flamingos

Which country is home to more than 80,000 flamingos?

And the answer: Bahamas.      

The flamingo is the national bird of the Bahamas, an island nation located in the Caribbean. The country's southernmost island, Inagua, is home to more than 80,000 flamingos. The island's forests also provide shelter to 140 species of native and migratory birds.

Photo credit: Valdiney Pimenta - Flamingos

Although flamingos might resemble a strange combination of a stork and a duck, they're actually not related to either. Instead belonging to the family Phoenicopteridae, flamingos are among some of the most fascinating birds on our planet. Drawn to shallow lakes and ponds, flamingos thrive in environments with very salty water conditions and few predators. In the shallow water, flamingos will turn their heads upside down to filter water over small plates in their bills to catch small fish, crustaceans and algae. Luckily, flamingos' sense of taste is nearly nonexistent, so they don't mind a little sediment in their dinner.

Flamingos do, in fact, get their iconic pink color from their food. As such, the diet available to flamingos greatly affects their appearance, as does their habitat. Higher-ranking flamingos across the board tend to be a brighter pink, yet at the same time, the head of a flamingo flock in Africa will likely pale in comparison to any individual flamingo in the Caribbean. Caribbean flamingos enjoy a varied diet and warm climate year round, making it so this subspecies has evolved to be far more pink than its relatives. Yet that's no dealbreaker for these strange birds. Different species of flamingo have different eating habits, making it so these birds can coexist with just about any other regional flamingo subspecies.  

Learn more about flamingos here.


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