The word "flamingo" comes from the Spanish and Latin word "flamenco" which has meanings of "fire" and "flame-coloured" and refers to the bright colours of the birds' feathers. Flamingos are gregarious birds who live together in large flocks. A flock of flamingos is called a flamboyance. These facts form the background to one of my picture books, The Talented Flamingo Brothers. It starts:

Ringo and Ingo, the boys loved to dance

They could foxtrot and do the fandango

But for the best mix

Of fan kicks and flicks

They would strut the flamingo flamenco.


They lived with their mum, some cousins and aunts

There were hundreds in their home flamboyance.

And as you might think

They were all shocking pink

Causing chaos and some slight annoyance! 


Flamingos are on the official Coat of Arms of the Turks and Caicos Islands:

coat of arms