Flamingos: Behavior, Biology, and Relationship with Humans


Series: Birds – Evolution, Behavior and Ecology
BISAC: NAT043000

The world’s six flamingo species are among the most beautiful and iconic animals on Earth. Indeed, the much beloved flamingo is a popular attraction at zoos around the globe, and has become a cultural phenomenon as well, being displayed proudly on the lawns of many suburban homes as well as being featured prominently in works of literature and art. While their physical characteristics have likely led to their iconic status, when one takes a moment to look beyond their long neck and legs and beautiful plumage, they will soon discover that the flamingo’s behavioral patterns are equally as impressive and as fascinating as their appearance. Indeed, whether it be their highly gregarious and colonial nature, filter-feeding habits, ritualized group displays, the crèches of flamingo chicks, the construction of mud nests, or the answer to the age-old question, “Why do flamingos stand on one leg?”, flamingo behavior/biology is thoroughly interesting, and at times peculiar. Moreover, our unique relationship with and fascination for the charismatic flamingos are an interesting phenomena in their own rights. This edited volume is devoted to flamingo behavior, biology and their relationships with humans. By thoroughly exploring and considering each of these topics together in one volume, this work is designed to encourage in the reader a greater understanding of and appreciation for these fascinating and iconic birds. (Imprint: Nova)


Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Authors

Chapter 1. Flamingo Studies: A General Introduction
Frank Cézilly (Université de Bourgogne-Franche Comté, Biogéosciences, Dijon, France)

Chapter 2. The Evolution of Flamingos
Christopher R. Torres and Marcel van Tuinen (Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA, and others)

Chapter 3. Diet and Foraging Behavior
Guy Beauchamp (Independent Researcher, Canada)

Chapter 4. Flamingo Coloration and its Significance
Juan A. Amat and Miguel A. Rendón (Departamento de Ecología de Humedales, Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC), Sevilla, Spain)

Chapter 5. Flight, Navigation, Dispersal, and Migratory Behavior
Arnaud Béchet (Tour du Valat Research Institute, Le Sambuc, Arles, France)

Chapter 6. Flamingo Resting Behavior: A General Description and Sampling of Findings
Matthew J. Anderson (Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, USA)

Chapter 7. Flamingo Social Behavior and Flock Dynamics
Paul Rose (Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, Washington Singer Labs, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, and others)

Chapter 8. Reproductive Biology and Parenting Behavior
Adelheid Studer-Thiersch (Zoologischer Garten Basel, Switzerland)

Chapter 9. Man’s Impact on Flamingos
Tania A. Anderson and Mark D. Anderson (BirdLife, Parklands, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Chapter 10. Flamingos and Ecotourism
Felicity Arengo and Eduardo Galicia (Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, USA, and others)

Chapter 11. Flamingos in Captivity: Pretty in Pink, Popular and Puzzling
Catherine King (Weltvogelpark Walsrode, Maguari-One Zoo and Wildlife Consultants, Germany)

Chapter 12. Flamingos and Gender Ideology in Advertising
Leslie Irvine and Arnold Arluke (Department of Sociology, University of Colorado, CO, USA, and others)

Chapter 13. Flamingos and Other Tropical Themes in Clothing and Accessories
Lisa Valendza (Kent State University, The Fashion School, OH, USA)

Chapter 14. Happy Captives and Monstrous Hybrids: The Flamingo in Children’s Stories
Donna Varga and Victoria Dempsey (Mount Saint Vincent University, Department of Child and Youth Study, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Chapter 15. Flamingos in Folklore, Mythology, Religion and Art
Vivien Johnson (Visiting Professor, University of New South Wales Art and Design, Australia)



“An authoritative, thoughtful, and highly readable update on all things “flamingo” by the experts who have been studying them for decades. Highly recommended.” – <strong>Keith L. Bildstein, Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary</strong>

“If you’ve ever been captivated by the amazing appearance or seemingly-unusual behavior of the flamingo-and who hasn’t?-you will get something out of Flamingos: Behavior, Biology, and Relationship with Humans. Focused on one of the most iconic of all birds, this edited collection covers the natural history and behavior of the flamingo, but also the long and complicated relationship that humans have had with this incredible bird. No other book covers the terrain that Flamingos does, and for that reason the book will appeal to both scientists and bird and animal lovers. The final section of the book, covering humans’ impact on, representations of, and relationships with, flamingos is the most appealing to the non-scientist and really makes this book shine.” – <strong>Margo DeMello, Human Animal Studies Program Director at the Animals & Society Institute and author of Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies</strong>

“Dr. Anderson has compiled a wonderfully eclectic collection of studied thought on a complex member of our animal family. Turn a page and broaden your understanding of a fascinating bird. Let your mind take flight.” – Michaeline Moloney, author of Flamingos of Necker Island: Sir Richard Branson’s Brilliant Birds

Additional Information

While the primary target audience will be the academic, scientific and conservation communities, the work will likely have broad appeal given the iconic nature and immense popularity of flamingos. Thus, I imagine secondary audiences to include everyday birders, nature lovers, and many other members of the general public.

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