The name “flamingo” originates from the Spanish or Portuguese language word “flamengo”, which means “flame colored”. This is a reference to their bright reddish and pink coloration.
Traditionally, flamingos were believed to be closely related to storks, ibises, and spoonbills. They were also thought to be related to waterfowl (such as ducks). However, more recent studies have shown that they may be more closely related to pigeons and doves, and may also be related to grebes, aquatic diving birds found mostly in fresh water.
Flamingos are commonly kept in zoos around the world, and can live up to 80 years or more in captivity.
A popular lawn ornament in the United States is the “pink flamingo”, a plastic ornamental sculpture first designed by Don Featherstone in1957, which has since become a symbol of “kitsch” and pop culture.