Photo by PngStudioPhotography/Shutterstock.com
Everybody who loves flamingos has thought about what it would be like to be around these amazing animals. Some of you may have been lucky enough to see them in person, and some of you may have been even luckier and got to be around them without a fence or barrier between you. But for those who haven’t yet had the chance to witness a flamingo in the fresh, you might wonder how tall these beautiful birds are?
How Tall Are Flamingos?
The answer to that question is: it depends.
Some species of flamingo are larger than others. For example, greater flamingos are typically the tallest of their kind, reaching heights between 47 and 59 inches (120 to 150 centimeters). Conversely, lesser flamingos are normally the smallest of the bird’s species, generally standing at about 32 inches (80 centimeters). Meanwhile, James’s flamingos, one of the rarest species of the fowl, are about 39 inches tall (1 meter), so there can be some good variance among the species.
Happy #PinkFlamingoDay ! 🦩— State Darwin Museum (@darwinmuseum) June 23, 2020
The greater #flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most widespread and the largest living species of flamingo with average height about 110–150 cm 📏
It is found in Africa, on the Indian subcontinent, in the Middle East, and in southern Europe 🌏 pic.twitter.com/c5wqoaFx7I
There is also sex to take into account. Similar to humans and many animals in the world, male flamingos and female flamingos have different body builds. One way that manifests itself is through height. It’s not a massive contrast, though, with the males only normally coming in a bit taller than their female counterparts. The differences in height and other measures of size don’t vary enough for it to be easy to tell if a flamingo is a male or female by just looking at it.
So, there’s a good range of heights among flamingos, but for the most part, a full-grown flamingo will grow to be roughly between 30 and 60 inches.
How Much of That Is Legs?
Photo by Nellariel/Shutterstock.com
A whole lot of it is legs.
If you love flamingos and have studied their fabulous form, you probably could have guessed that, but it’s true. Adult flamingos legs are normally between 31 and 49 inches long (80 to 125 centimeters), depending on the species. If flamingos generally range between 30 and 60 inches tall overall, then their legs make up a very large part of that overall height.
How Does That Measure Up to Humans?
Photo by Bulgn/Shutterstock.com
As you’re more likely to know, that also depends on a lot of things. People in different parts of the world have different average heights, and there is also a large difference between average male and female human heights, not to mention the impact age can play. But to give us something to work with, we’ll look at the average American male and female heights.
The average American man 20-years-and-older is 69.1 inches (175.4 centimeters), according to the CDC in December 2018. The same report found that the average American woman 20-years-and-older is 63.7 inches (161.8 centimeters).
#DidYouKnow American Flamingos, like ones in the National Aviary’s Wetlands habitat, can grow up to 57 inches, or just under 5 feet? See how your height compares on your next visit by checking out our Flamingo Height Chart! pic.twitter.com/CIi9tgfM7Z— National Aviary (@National_Aviary) June 20, 2021
Using those numbers, it’s fair to say that most adult Americans, male and female, are taller than most flamingos. But those are just the average heights - plenty of people fall below those numbers. The upper range for the tallest flamingo is 59 inches, which is almost 5 feet. Less than 1 percent of the American male population measures below that mark, but roughly 10 percent of American women are shorter than 5-feet tall. Women make up slightly more than 50 percent of the American population, and 78 percent of the country’s almost 333 million people are adults, so 259,740,000 people. That means we can estimate that approximately 13 million Americans (slightly more than 5 percent of the nation’s adult population) are shorter than, or at least the same height as, the tallest flamingos.