You may have noticed a certain trend appearing in a number of high-street stores over the past few months. Whether it’s on a scarf in Oasis, on a t-shirt in Forever 21 or on a pair of pants in Topshop, flamingos are everywhere you look!

Before you fully embrace your new feathered friend on your next outfit, you may want to know some fun facts about these incredibly popular birds.

The word flamingo actually comes from the Spanish and Latin word for fire, Flamenco. This refers to bright and eye-catching colours of the birds feathers, despite the fact that most flamingos aren’t actually pink. They’re grey or white. (I cannot help but feel bad for all the grey flamingos who don’t inspire a handbag design.)

Food Dye
“But why are some flamingos grey and why are some pink?” I hear you ask. Well, a flamingo’s colouring depends on their intake of carotenoid pigments found in foods such as shrimp, plankton, algae and crustaceans. The more pigments they intake, the more vibrant their feathers. Flamingos in captivity are often fed a specialised diet which will enhance their colour to meet visitors expectations of the famously exotic birds.

It’s Not a Knee You See
A flamingo’s knee is not actually visible due to it being positions so close to their bodies. The bend we see in the bird’s leg is actually it’s ankle. I bet they’re great at yoga.

The Great American Lawn Flamingo
In 1957 gardens all across America began to feature the “official” pink plastic lawn flamingo which has become sort of an iconic image of suburban America (think Desperate Housewives). Over the years these birds have become so widely produced there are now more lawn flamingos in America than there are actual real ones.

So there you have it! Next time somebody compliments your flamingo-print phone case why not hit them with some of these facts? I mean … they may not bother again, but at least you can prove you’re more than just a pretty beak! Eh? I’ll leave now.