Visit to the Los Angeles Zoo | Why are flamingos pink?


Flamingos in the Los Angeles Zoo!

When we visit our family in California, we often go to the Los Angeles Zoo with our little grandson. He loves this place very well, knows his way around well and knows exactly where to find which animal.

His absolute favorites include the flamingos, which is always the first port of call for our visits.

Flamingos, with their bright feathers, stilt-like legs and their S-shaped neck, are probably the most well-known waterfowl. There are 5 different species of flamingos, which can be found, for example, in South, Central and North America but also in Europe.

Due to their different habitat, the flamingos differ in color. Some flamingos glow in bright pink, others have feathers in bright pinks. Others are white or show orange and red colors.

Have you ever wondered, why are flamingos pink or wearing colors in all shades of pink or even orange?

I had not really thought about it yet and admittedly had no idea. The nice woman who stood next to me with her children probably did not feel any different. They just wanted to know from her why the flamingos are pink and she did not know the answer. She picked up her cell phone and started to google it, but did not get it because she was interrupted loudly.

My little grandson, at the age of three and a half, spoke up.

"Oh, I know, they're just because they eat a lot of shrimp." The woman said, "Really about that?" Noah said, "the little flamingo babies are still very light. If they drink too much carrot juice, they will but also orange. "That came out of his mouth like a pistol and we were all stunned. Of course, my daughter-in-law was delighted, she knew he was right, because she had explained it to him during a visit there.

My grandson is really right, flamingos get their wonderful color through pigments in the organisms, which is rich in carotenoid pigments. These include algae, crustaceans and hard-shelled animals such as shrimp or snails. Carotenoids are so important to preserve the distinctive color of the flamingo. Over time, the plumage turns pink and sometimes orange or red.

In zoos, flamingos get a carotenoid-rich diet, such as shrimp and clams, to preserve their typical color. If flamingos stopped eating this food, their color would slowly disappear.

There's one more thing that makes Flamingo unmistakable, it's often on just one leg, but why?

Noah also knew a plausible answer. He said that they would not feel as cold as if they were standing with both legs in the cold water. With only one leg, they do not lose so much body heat.

Is not it amazing what a small child can learn by a visit to the zoo at the age of four and then pass it on?

Why are flamingos pink, you can not explain it better.


  • Great post and wonderful pictures! I love flamingos - those are so beautiful animals I think 🙂 I did not know that with the color yet.
    I wish you a good start to the week, greetings,
    Cindy ❤

  • That's why I think the visit to a zoo is so incredibly important! Because children - and we - just learn so much and that also "on the living object". I also really like flamingos, they are always standing at the entrance in the Munich Zoo and are the first animal you can see! 🙂
    LG Ina

    • I think so too, I'm curious what I still learn through my little sweety.
      best regards

  • Dear Sigrid,

    Excellent! If you have small children, you start thinking about things that we rarely think about ;-). My little one has already asked me that and I did not know the answer and put him off. Now I know it and will surprise him today after the kindergarten with the answer.

    Have a great start to the new week!

    • You're right, I never thought about the color of the flamingos, they were simply pink.
      Now we both have learned something ... laugh.
      Lovely wishes

  • hehe how awesome my love! I've never asked myself why flamingos are pink, but now that you ask this question in the room - thanks for the explanation 🙂

    I have to go to the zoo again - thanks for the suggestion!

    Best regards too,
    ❤ Tina from

    • I had never asked myself before, they were just pink. Why and why I did not care, thanks to my grandson, I know it now.
      best regards

  • That's funny, I never thought about it.
    But I like that kind of "useless knowledge". Somehow knowledge is never useless :-))

    Best regards,
    Anni from

  • Big flamingo love here ... I knew that with the color, because I watch a lot of docus. Otherwise, of course I would not know something like that. With our Axolotl you can dye the animals with food coloring (of course you do not, but it works).

    Greetings, Bea.

    • I have learned something again, that I did not know how to color it.
      best regards

  • Noah is cool! Such children are such an inspiration and bring us to wonder again and again. We learned, studied and used Google for a long time. And he does not even know it four years. Cool Post 😀

    • Thank you very much, I was really amazed at the knowledge of my grandson. Noah is a clever boy, I love him.
      best regards

  • Oh how nice that again is 🙂 I did not know that with the freezing - I read the color in a book back then and thought it was very scary as a child 😀 I was always afraid that I would turn green when I eat spinach 😀 Oh man 😀

    best regards

    • I had never heard of it and was completely puffy as he started to explain it.
      best regards

  • The color of the flamingos is interesting, again something learned! Thank you for that!
    But they are also simply noble and elegant animals.

    Best regards,

    • I also like to look at them and spend a lot of time at their enclosure at LA Zoo.
      best regards

  • A very sweet report!
    I actually knew that because my daughter in the Stuttgart Zoo has already asked 😉

  • It's really cool that the little one knew that. I would not have known that 😉

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