Nearly everyone knows what flamingos look like ---pink birds with long legs. You can see them at just about every zoo. You can find them in storybooks. Alice uses flamingos as croquet mallets in Through the Looking Glass (by Lewis Carroll). Images of flamingos, standing under palm trees, appear in paperweights and snow globes. Plastic flamingos make colorful lawn ornaments!! But did you know that some flamingos live high up in the Andes Mountains of South America? Flamingos can swim, and flamingos can fly.
Ornithologists (scientists who sturdy birds) spent many years arguing whether flamingos are more like ducks, or more like storks, until they decided that flamingos belong in a group by themselves.
There are 5 species of flamingos that occur throughout the world. The greater flamingo is as tall as a grown-up person is. The lesser flamingo is as tall as a first-grader.