What makes flamingos pink ?

The pink color of the flamingo plumage is determined by the food they eat, or rather the content in it of a certain substance – the carotenoid. The carotenoid gives the plants a pink-orange color, it makes carrots orange, and blue-green algae – reddish. By the way, the color of blue-green algae does not match their name.

They can be reddish-blue, yellowish-blue and even red-yellow-blue. Eating vegetable food, rich in carotenoids, the flamingo feathers, which initially have a dirty white color, are gradually pinker.

The more birds get this substance with food, the more saturated and red the plumage becomes. Yes, yes, it is red. Such flamingos do exist. No wonder the name of the birds is translated from Latin (“flamma”) as “fire”.

It is worth noting that the lack of a carotenoid results in the plumage losing its pink color and returning to the original white. This picture can be observed when keeping birds in captivity, when the owners forget to include carrots or special additives with carotenoids in the flamingo diet.