What do you know about flamingos?

Flamingo portrait
Photo: Alexandr Junek Imaging s.r.o./Shutterstock

These iconic pink birds are immediately recognizable, but how much do you know about them? Test your knowledge of these beautiful birds!

Question 1 of 10

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A flock of flamingos
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What is a group of flamingos called?

Flamingos are such interesting birds that just one name for flocks isn't enough. Other collective nouns include "stand," "pat" and the highly fitting "flamboyance."

Question 2 of 10

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Portrait of a flamingo
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Where does the name 'flamingo' come from?

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the name flamingo stems from "flamenco" (which is from the now obsolete "flamengo") and is a reference to the birds' flame-colored feathers.

Question 3 of 10

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flamingos on nest
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Which is the only species of flamingo native to North America?

The American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is the only species native to the North American continent and was once found in Florida. However, it was wiped out with the arrival of Europeans and is rarely ever sighted so far north in its range.

Question 4 of 10

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chilean flamingos
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How many species of flamingo are there?

The six species are: greater flamingo, lesser flamingo, Chilean flamingo, James's flamingo, Andean flamingo and, of course, the American flamingo.

Question 5 of 10

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lawn flamingo
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What year was the plastic lawn flamingo introduced?

This pop culture phenomenon started in 1957 with its creator Don Featherstone. From cool to uncool to cool again, the famous plastic lawn decorations have run the gamut of opinions and stood the test of time.

Question 6 of 10

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Flamingos flying
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How fast can flamingos fly?

Though they're almost always seen wading, these birds can really zoom while in the air, hitting top speeds of 35 miles per hour.

Question 7 of 10

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Flamingos at a lake
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How do flamingos get their iconic pink color?

The beta carotene found in the crustaceans, plankton, and red and blue-green (not pink) algae that flamingos eat is what gives them their famous color. Flamingos without access to food with the carotenoid pigments are white.

Question 8 of 10

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flamingo feathers
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Flamingos aren’t only pink. Other plumage colors include:

Flamingos cover a wide range of colors, from shades of white, cream and pale pink all the way to vivid oranges and reds. Their coloring depends in large part on the level of carotenoid in their food. As Live Science notes, "Carotenoid levels in algae and crustaceans vary in different parts of the world, which is why Caribbean flamingos are usually bright red and orange, while flamingos of the drought-plagued Lake Nakuru in central Kenya tend to be a paler pink."

Question 9 of 10

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Flamingo in water
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Adult flamingos stand 4-5 feet tall but weigh just:

Though they are quite tall, flamingos are surprisingly light! They need to be this svelt to fly.

Question 10 of 10

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flamingo and chick
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For the first week or so of life, flamingo chicks are fed:

A specialized substance high in fat and protein is made by the parents during the first five to12 days of a chick's life. This nutritional "crop milk" gives the chicks a jump-start for growing.

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Flamingo portrait
Photo: Alexandr Junek Imaging s.r.o./Shutterstock