Flamingo Friendships

The flamingo is a long-lived wading bird found throughout the world. Flamingos are gregarious, living in close-knit populations numbering in the thousands. But flamingos are highly selective in who they hang out with.

When they are 2 weeks old, chicks congregate into selective social groups. Their parents leave them be. In these groups, fledglings form friendships which may last a lifetime.

Flamingos form enduring pair bonds. Both partners share the chores of nest-building and chick rearing. “Mating couples spend much of their time together, but lots of other social bonds also exist. Their friendships are stable,” said English zoologist Paul Rose.


Paul E. Rose & Darren P. Croft, “Evaluating the social networks of four flocks of captive flamingos over a five-year period: Temporal, environmental, group and health influences on assortment,” Behavioural Processes 175 (June 2020).

Flamingos form long-standing friendships, new study shows,” Sci News (14 April 2020).

Flamingos form firm friendships,” Phys.org (14 April 2020).