Flamingos have a very wide distribution, and the sole genus comprises only a few species.
However, if we carefully sift their characters, the flamingos obviously reveal themselves as much nearer related to the Ciconiae, especially to Platalea and Ibis, than to the Anseres.
These neossoptiles or first feathers bear no resemblance to those of the Anseriform birds, but agree in detail with those of spoonbills, the young of which the little flamingos resemble to a striking extent, but they leave the nest soon after their birth to shift for themselves like ducks and geese.
Fossil remains of flamingos have been described from the Lower Miocene of France as P. croizeti, and from the Pliocene of Oregon.
When flying, flamingos present a striking and beautiful sight, with legs and neck stretched out straight, looking like white and rosy or scarlet crosses with black arms. Not less fascinating is a flock of these sociable birds when at rest, standing on one or both legs, with their long necks twisted or coiled upon the body in any conceivable position.