With their distinctive pink coloring and one-legged stance, flamingos are easily the most recognizable bird in the world. Most of us don't know, however, that there are actually six different species of flamingo, each differing in size and hue––and, despite excellent fossil records, scientists have had a difficult time positioning the flamingo within the avian genetic tree. In Flamingo, Caitlin R. Kight untangles the scientific knowledge about this unusual ornithological wonder and looks at how it has figured in popular culture.
Kight presents the flamingo in a concise and accessible way, introducing its detailed scientific history alongside what we know about its often hostile habitats and complex social behavior. She explores its genetic lineage and the confusions it has caused, and she details the significance it has had for many cultures, whether as a spiritual totem or a commercial symbol of the tropical life. She even explains how it gets its extraordinary color (hint: it has to do with its diet). A wonderful resource for any bird lover, Flamingo provides valuable insight into just what makes this flashy-feathered character so special.