May 27, 2021

What Makes Flamingos Pink in Color? Photos & More Facts.

How you ever wondered what makes flamingos pink? Their colors are amazing and there is a scientific answer as to what causes their feather coloration.

Pink Flamingo bird closeup

Flamingos are not always pink. When they are born, the feathers are typically a more dull grayish color.


As the wading bird grows to adulthood, their feather coloring shifts to pink and red.

This is caused by their food supply which includes beta-Carotene and aqueous bacteria.

These organic chemicals, that help to change the bird’s feathers to pink and red colors, are derived from eating shrimp and other small crustaceans as a food staple.

What Makes Flamingos Pink?

In addition, flamingos also consume various forms of algae as they feed, which also contributes to their pinkish and reddish color. In this picture, they seem to move as one.

Pink Flamingos standing in shallow water


You may notice that flamingos in captivity such as zoos and water parks, may not be as bright pink as those in the wild.

It is thought that is due to the water bird not getting the same levels of beta-carotine and chemical rich algae as they do while living in their natural environment.

If you are lucky enough to see these beautiful birds in the wild, then cherish the moment.


Chilean Flamingo

These tropical wading birds are extremely majestic in stature and a joy to watch feeding in shallow ponds of water. Whenever you have a chance to see some, stop and enjoy the view.

pink flamingo photo

This image shows a curious pink flamingo, who is looking into the camera. You can see the detail in its beak. The fine texture of its feathers and sharp yellow eye make this visual one that keeps you looking at the picture.

flamingo chick photo

Photo by Martin Pettitt

This little baby flamingo chick is getting fed by mama.

They grow quick, and will be turning more pink in color after a while. Its feathers look soft and cuddly.

How Many Flamingo Species are There?

Most scientists recognize six species and are as follows:

  1. Greater Flamingo
  2. American Flamingo
  3. Lesser Flamingo
  4. Andean Flamingo
  5. James’s Flamingo
  6. Chilean Flamingo

Hope you have learned more about what makes flamingos pink.

Also, hopefully you enjoyed these wonderful photos and interesting facts about one of the most unique looking birds you may ever see.

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