Flamingos get their wonderful pink color from the food they eat. In the wild, flamingos may be bright pink, or surprisingly pale, depending on the amount of special nutrients called carotenoids it contains. These are the same nutrients that make carrots orange and tomatoes red. The flamingo food at Riverbanks Zoo is carefully balanced to make them as beautiful—and healthy—as possible.
Flamingos are found in large, mostly vegetation-free lakes or lagoons in Africa, Eurasia and the West Indies, Bahamas and even the Galapagos Islands. Mining, road production, desert irrigation and pollution have disrupted or degraded many flamingo habitats, although salt production in the Bahamas is actually producing more habitat area.
Flamingos are very popular at Riverbanks Zoo because of their loud vocalizations, elaborate displays and beautiful vibrant colors. The flamingos can be seen in their home in front of the Birdhouse at Riverbanks.