This Insatiable Flamingo Scarfs Down a Meal in Mere Seconds

chilean flamingo
© iStock.com/WMarissen

Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: January 30, 2024

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Animals are some of the best friends that we can have as humans. And when we get the opportunity to feed them, we often feel a close connection with them. This is perhaps why hand-feeding animals at zoos or on a safari are one of the most popular things. In the video below, let’s see what happens when this woman feeds an insatiable flamingo!

Don’t Miss This Video Below!

Flamingo Eating in Texas

The TikTok video posted at the top of this blog post takes us to Texas. It’s dinnertime for this perky flamingo. The San Antonio Zoo TikTok page filmed and shared this video with their followers worldwide. In addition to their famous pink flamingo, they also share footage of animals such as hippos, kangaroos, sloths, birds, armadillos, and turtles. 

Hungry Flamingo Chomps Down on Food

At the start of this video above, we see a flock of flamingoes gathered together in this zoo enclosure. A woman is slowly approaching with a small bowl of what looks to be seeds in water. One lone flamingo eagerly approaches the fence, hoping to be the one to get first dibs on this food. Once he reaches the bowl, he starts to quickly slop this food up at an incredibly fast rate. 

According to the National Zoo, the flamingo will often get food by going into the water. They will then place their head upside down. “It then sweeps its head side-to-side, using its tongue to pump water in and out of its bill.” 

This is the sound we hear in the video above, with the flamingo lapping up the water so quickly. Once the water is inside, they have these plates in their mouth that allow them to filter the water out, but trapping the food inside their mouths. This is also similar to how the baleen whale eats as well. 

How Long Can Flamingos Stand On One Leg?

A pair of Greater Flamingos resting on one leg at Eker creek in the morning, Bahrain

Flamingos can fly up to 30 miles per hour.

©Dr Ajay Kumar Singh/Shutterstock.com

It might be humorous to think that flamingos are standing on one leg to get their yoga in and stretch. However, that is only just a myth. BBC Science Focus shares that “Fundamentally, flamingos stand on one leg to avoid muscular fatigue. “It’s an energy-saving activity, basically,” explains Dr Paul Rose.” 

These tall birds can reach up to 59 inches (4.9) feet in height and weigh between 4.4 and 8.8 pounds. They proportionally use their height and weight to be able to stand or sleep for long periods of time, the National Library of Medicine states. There are even reports that they can stand in that position for up to four hours. 

As we can see from the video posted at the top, the flock of flamingos in the background had no intention of moving. They found their cozy spot and weren’t about to give it up for some food. 


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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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