Flamingos usually stand on one leg while the other is tucked beneath their bodies. The reason for this behaviour is not fully understood. One theory is that standing on one leg allows the birds to conserve more body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water. However, the behaviour also takes place in warm water and is also observed in birds that do not typically stand in water. An alternative theory is that standing on one leg reduces the energy expenditure for producing muscular effort to stand and balance on one leg. A study on cadavers showed that the one-legged pose could be held without any muscle activity, while living flamingos demonstrate substantially less body sway in a one-legged posture. As well as standing in the water, flamingos may stamp their webbed feet in the mud to stir up food from the bottom.
- Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
- Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor)
- Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis)
- James' Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus jamesi)
- Andean Flamingo (Phoenicoparrus andinus)
- American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)