Flamingo Birds Are Pink Because of What They Eat.

Flamingo Birds Are Pink Because of What They Eat.

With their bright feathers, flamingos are among the most easily recognized water birds. They are social birds, and tens of thousands can live together in a single colony.

Flamingo feathers obtain their wonderful rosy pink color from pigments in the organisms they eat. The flamingos’ feathers, legs, and face are colored by their diet, which is rich in alpha and beta carotenoid pigments. After being digested, the carotenoid pigments dissolve in fats and are deposited in the growing feathers, becoming orange or pink. The same effect is seen when shrimp change color during cooking.

The amount of pigment laid down in the feathers depends on the quantity of pigment in the flamingo’s diet. The lack of carotenoids in its food, will make their feathers very pale. That's one of the reasons why, to preserve their rosy color, they are being fed shrimps.