Small Animals

Flamingo Flash Mob

Written by Wendy Aburto

Imagine relaxing on a beach, when a group of tall pink birds slowly come strolling in, they line up, and then begin to dance and sing in rhythm. This highly synchronized dance is how the lonely flamingo can find a mate.

No doubt the flamingo has been a highly iconosized animal for many years, their plastic shrines can be found in the front yards across the nation, and their ornate pink feathers are often imitated in many shows off of the Vegas strip.  They are a truly remarkable bird, the last time we went to the zoo I found myself very intrigued by them, admittedly probably staring at them for an awkward amount of time.

The flamingo mating ritual falls in line with the uniqueness of the bird.  Flamingos will only mate when it rains, brings a whole new meaning to the phrase dry spell doesn’t it? Immediately following mating, the birds will begin to make nests, and the wet rainy climate is ideal for nest construction.


When it is time to pair up the male birds gather together to put on a show for the ladies. This gesture of courtship is like watching one of the best flash mobs out there. Seemingly out of the blue these eager lads group together and begin to perform synchronized marching, preening, head turning, and loud bellowing to the females. Each male will perform this dance until they have wooed a perspective female.

When mating takes place it includes the entire colony.  Because the mating of flamingos is determined by weather, it doesn’t happen annually. Therefore there will either been a lot of offspring in the colony, or none at all.  When the offspring is born, it is a group effort and all pitch in.

This mating ritual is definitely an enjoyable spectacle to behold. Gentlemen take note, if you practice synchronized head turning, you just may turn some heads.

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Wendy Aburto

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