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: