A flamingo is hardly ever seen alone in the wild. This is because flamingos are extremely social birds that prefer company over solitude. These beautiful birds are often spotted in groups, socializing with each other.
The groups that these exotic birds stay in can have two or more members. However, regardless of the size of the group, these friendly birds prefer to spend most of their time with their companions.
Are flamingos social or solitary?
Flamingos are highly social birds. They prefer to stay in groups. Flamingos do not do well on their own in the wild.
These vibrant birds need a company in almost every single task that they do. That is the reason why they are some of the most sociable birds in the world.
Do flamingos live in groups?
Yes, almost all species of flamingos prefer to live in groups rather than alone. Having a company creates a huge positive impact on their lives.
What is a group of flamingos called?
A group of flamingos is referred to in many different terms. Some of those terms are ‘flamboyance’, ‘pat’, ‘colony’, ‘stand’, and ‘regiment’.
One of the most common terms for a flock of flamingos is flamboyance. Two or more flamingos are called a flamboyance of flamingos.
Why do flamingos live in groups?
There are several reasons why flamingos prefer to stay in groups over staying by themselves. Some of them are mentioned below:
1. Protection from predators
Staying in groups, especially larger groups, gives the flamingos a sense of safety and security as they are better able to protect themselves from predators when they are a part of a larger flamboyance.
When alone, a flamingo can be easy prey to its predators. That is why most of the flamingos are seen in larger groups in the wild.
2. Feeling of belongingness
Being in groups fulfills their need for social interaction and brings about a feeling of belongingness in flamingos.
Flamingos do not like staying alone, and that is why even when they are kept in zoos, they are kept with a flamboyance of a minimum of ten other flamingos.
3. Diversity of friendships in a flamboyance
Flamingos have their own groups of friends in a flamboyance. Even though they are sociable with most flamingos in the entire flamboyance, they do have a set of “best friends”.
These little groups further fuel their love for companionship. Even mating couples have their own set of friends in the flamboyance.
Research has shown that while these flamingos need their close friends, they also maintain their acquaintance with the other flamingos in the flamboyance. These friendships can last for decades.
How many flamingos are in a flock or a group or a flamboyance?
A flock of flamingos has a minimum of 2 members. However, because flamingos prefer to stay in larger groups, it has been estimated that on average, a flamboyance of flamingos has around 50 to 70 members.
Furthermore, it is also not uncommon to see over a hundred flamingos in a single flamboyance. They prefer to stay in even larger groups (sometimes in thousands) especially when they are in the wild.
What is the social structure of flamingos?
There are numerous social structures in the flamboyance of flamingos. While the structure can vary from one flamboyance to another, few of them are common. Some of those common structures are stated below:
|Friendships in same-aged flamingos||A flamboyance with only a few flamingos is often said to have flamingos of the same age group. This helps in establishing stronger friendships between them. However, as the size of the flamboyance increases, more age groups are allowed in them.|
|Protectiveness of older flamingos||Older flamingos are said to be more protective than the younger ones. The younger flamingos often learn how to protect themselves from predators from the old flamingos in the flamboyance.|
|Monogamy||Flamingos are monogamous, but only for a year. They mate with their partners for a year and then move on to other partners in the next year. However, while they are with a partner, they stay loyal to them for the longevity of their relationship.|
How do flamingos interact and communicate in a group?
Flamingos usually interact with other flamingos through vocal calls. When in the air, these calls are louder as compared to when the flamingos are on land. In fact, baby flamingos start making calls even before the eggs have hatched.
These calls can even sound like grunts at times, but for the majority of the time, they sound like honks.
However, calls are not the only ways that flamingos use to interact and communicate in a flamboyance. Flamingos have some interesting ways through which they communicate, especially when they want to attract a mate.
1. Head flagging
Head flagging is a gesture that includes stretching the head and the neck as high up as possible. Their bills also point upward while head flagging. This is usually followed by turning their heads from one side to the other.
Head flag is supposed to be one of the initial gestures to attract mates. Flamingos are also known to make calls during head flagging.
2. Wing salute
While doing a wing salute, a flamingo spreads its wings wide and shows off its vibrant colors. Their heads are outstretched during a wing salute, while the tail is flipped upwards.
The wing salute is also a part of courtship in flamingos.
Inverted wing salute
While doing the inverted wing salute, a flamingo angles its head down while it flips its tail in a way that the tail appears higher than the chest of the flamingo.
Here, the wings are partially open toward the back with the black flight feathers pointing upward, and the bend in the wing pointing downward.
In an effort to make themselves look attractive, flamingos engage in an act called preening. It has been observed that flamingos use the preening oil to not only waterproof their feathers, but to also make themselves look desirable.
This waxy matter (produced by their uropygial gland or preen gland) is applied to their necks, plumage, and feathers and makes the color of their wings ‘pop’ or shine.
A twist preen is just another form of preening wherein a flamingo will twist its neck backward and quickly preen its feathers with its bill.
Marching is an act that is performed by an entire flamboyance wherein they stand tall and move in fast-paced and synchronized steps. They move in one direction first and then with synchronicity, move in the other direction.
How do flamingos work together?
Flamingos are known to do a lot of things together, including doing their mating displays. They are known to gather in large groups and work together effortlessly.
Moreover, the flamboyance of flamingos works together to protect each other from predators and also to protect and train the younger flamingos.
Do flamingos help each other?
Flamingos are not only play with each other but they are also known to be helpful to their friends and mates.
They help each other find food and also help each other in keeping the flamboyance safe.
Do flamingos form lasting friendships?
Yes, it has been observed that flamingos form strong friendships which can even last for decades. These friendships exist not only between flamingos belonging to the same gender but also between flamingo couples.
However, this does not mean that they do not have rivals or enemies. Flamingos tend to avoid the ones they don’t like and choose to spend time only with their friends.
What is a group of baby flamingos called?
Baby flamingos are usually called chicks. However, there also exist other terms that are used to refer to young flamingos. Some of them are ‘hatchlings’, ‘juveniles’, and a ‘creche of flamingos’.
How does the group take care of the baby flamingos?
Baby flamingos are cared for by the flamboyance in the following ways:
1. ‘Daycare’ for baby flamingos
A creche of flamingos is made up of the young chicks that are taken care of by a group of adult flamingos in the flamboyance that is not the parents of the chicks. They usually take care of the chicks during the daytime and return the chicks to their parents at night, or when they have to be fed.
2. Formation of friendship groups from a young age
The chicks are known to start forming their own friendship groups as soon as they are older than 5-6 days. They return to their parents for food and also simultaneously learn the importance of forming friendships by getting inspired by their parents.
3. Protection from predators
Owing to the deep and loyal friendships that flamingos form with each other, they tend to protect their friends’ chicks if they find them in danger, or call for help.
Flamingos are loyal friends. Even when they don’t get along with some other flamingos, they never let it affect the unity of the flamboyance.
These highly social birds are not only protective toward their immediate families, but also toward the entire clan or flamboyance. This makes them some of the most well-liked birds in the world.