There are 5 species of flamingos. They live in tropical or subtropical locations in shallow salt marshes and brackish coastal lagoons. The flamingo’s trademark pink feathers get their beautiful color from alpha and beta caortenoid pigments found in the food they eat. In the wild these foods include various insects and red algae. The zoo diet of our zoo’s flamingos also includes these pigments to keep them pink. Frequently you will see flamingos standing on only one leg. The tucked in leg helps to conserve body heat, or sometimes it’s a position just for relaxation. Flamingos are social birds that like to live in groups. The groups can vary in size, from a few pair to sometimes thousands or tens of thousands. The birds require shallow water and lots of mud. Their nests are built by surrounding the egg with a large pile of mud. Flamingos do not regurgitate food for their young, like most birds. Instead they feed a liquid substance called ‘crop milk,’ which is produced from the parents’ upper digestive tract. Both males and females feed the chick.