When Do Flamingos Learn to Fly?

When Do Flamingos Learn to Fly
Photo by SebastienBurel/Shutterstock.com

Human babies aren’t born with the ability to walk, and flamingo chicks aren’t hatched with the ability to fly. It takes human babies a few months to first learn how to walk. How long does it take for flamingos to learn how to fly?

How Long Does It Take for Flamingos to Learn How to Fly?

The first impediment to a flamingo’s first takeoff is its flight feathers. It takes about 11 weeks for a flamingo chick’s flight feathers to fully grow in. Nothing gets off the ground before those are real to see air.

How Long Does It Take for Flamingos to Learn How to Fly
Photo by FabianPonceGarcia/Shutterstock.com

Just having fully-grown flight feathers isn’t enough, though - a young flamingo must still learn how to use said natural instruments. The learning process takes an additional couple of weeks before flamingo chicks are really able to fly. That means that in total, it takes a newborn flamingo between two and three months after hatching to get itself up into the clouds. This occurs even before a chick’s coloring changes from its original gray into the luscious pink that fowl is famously known for.

Sometimes, flamingo parents will fly with their flamingo offspring. Even when the chicks have their flight feathers and are trained enough to get into the air, they still can’t go very far. For supervision, education, and protection, their parents will occasionally accompany them while they’re still in that young, transitional phase.

How Often Do Flamingos Fly?

The answer to this can vary based on a handful of factors - rainfall, temperatures, human activity, etc. - but generally, flamingos don’t fly very often. Their food is in the water, and the water is normally the safest place for a flamingo to be. Other than when flamingos sometimes migrate or need to otherwise set up shop elsewhere, they’d rather be in and around the water than up in the air.

How Often Do Flamingos Fly
Photo by EnikoBalogh/Shutterstock.com

So, Flamingos Migrate Then?

Even though flamingos are considered non-migratory birds, they are known to migrate, especially in some parts of the world more than others. For example, some flamingos live very high up in the Andes, and when the lakes and other bodies of water turn to ice when the temperatures drop below freezing, the flamingos that live there have no choice to migrate elsewhere - no water means no food, and I don’t have to explain what that means.

flying flamingos
Photo by PicturesWild/Shutterstock.com

What Are Some Flamingo Flight Habits?

Flamingos have been seen flying at almost 20,000 feet above sea level before, but that’s not usual for all species of the bird all around the globe. About 10,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level is a more normal level for the fowl. Their surroundings, the wind situation, and the trip itself all play a role in how high a flamingo will go in the air for its flight. 

Also, the time of day matters - flamingos are more likely to take to higher altitudes during daylight hours to conserve energy and avoid the watchful eye of predators. Unsurprisingly, flamingos would prefer to make their aerial treks during the night, and often try to make that a reality when taking flight is a necessity. But they do still sometimes fly while the sun is out.

On average, flamingos fly at roughly 35 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour). In one night, they can go up to 375 miles (600 kilometers), though that’s certainly not the length of an average flamingo flight.

If I Figured Out a Way to Grow Flight Feathers, Would I Be Able to Fly?

I would love to see you try.