How the Flamingo Got Its Pink

Posted on July 11, 2017 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

If flamingos are famous for one thing, it’s their vibrant color, but did you know that flamingos aren’t naturally pink?

Image: Flamingo touching its head to the water with a reflection
Source: Pixabay

If you are a super nature nerd you’ve probably heard that flamingos turn pink as they grow up and don’t actually hatch with their beautiful plumage. In fact, their color is actually the result of a chemical process that gives new meaning to the saying “You are what you eat!”

To give us a better understanding of how this all works here’s the great YouTube Channel SciShow!

Via: SciShow 1

The Power of Flamingo Milk

So, how do baby flamingos turn pink and go from gray fluffball to the remarkably colored adults we instantly recognize?

That question actually has an even more fascinating answer, and it involves some pretty incredible parenting.

Did you know birds are capable of creating their own “milk”?

Via: BBC 2

Flamingo milk, now there’s a new fact to leave you the smartest person in the room!

Actually, some other bird species, like some penguins and pigeons, create “crop milk” too–something I didn’t know existed until I started doing research for this article.

There’s really nothing I love more about my job here at Ever Widening Circles than getting to learn, on a daily basis, more and more about the world around me. Every time I learn something new, I feel more engaged with the world around me. Something as mundane as the smell of grass, or the sighting of a squirrel can remind me that there is a wider world filled with all kinds of incredible life!

It’s still an amazing world because it has always been an amazing world when it comes to nature.

We need to look no further than the animals we share this planet with to remind us that life finds a way. And very often that way is unlike anything we could ever predict or expect.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

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