Flamingos are commonly recognized by their habit of standing on one leg and their amazing pink plumage. They are a tall, wading water bird that can found in Europe, Asia and Africa. There are six species of flamingo, four of which live in the Americas. The flamingo stands anywhere from 36 to 50 inches tall and along with the distinctive pink coloring also have a curved neck and downward curving black tipped bill. The flamingos bill shape allows them to feed efficiently. So, what do these beautiful birds eat? Read this article to find out.
What do flamingos eat?
Flamingos can be found in warm, watery environments such as estuaries and lakes. They hunt their food along the mud flats that are common in these areas. Flamingos have a diet that consists of small marine organisms such as brine shrimp, tiny fish, fly larvae and plankton. Flamingos also eat considerable quantities of blue-green algae. The bird uses it webbed feet and long legs to stir up the water in shallow areas of lakes and rivers. They then bury their bills and heads under the water and suck up the mixture of mud and water. The structure of the flamingos bill is made to filters out the marine creatures and algae while releasing the water back into the environment. Inside the bill of the flamingos are hairy structures called lamellae which line the top and bottom jaw. These filter the mud and water from the food as the flamingo turns its head upside down. Flamingos often feed in large colonies of more than a thousand birds and this helps to protect them when they are feeding.