At the time they are hatched, like The Grinch And Max Fictional Character Shirt flamingos are born with grey feathers, and they remain that way for some time. Their pink coloration comes from the food they eat. While the other seabirds like gulls eat anything and everything, flamingos are a highly selective when it comes to their diet, primarily, nourishing themselves with water organisms such as algae, and shrimp. The high concentration of beta-carotene in the shrimp, algae, and larva that flamingos eat imparts a pink dye called canthaxanthin into the flamingos, turning them pink. And it takes time to build up this coloration in the plumage. Once they become pink, they stay that way.
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What we’re talking about here is a The Grinch And Max Fictional Character Shirt — that is, carotene and its chemical cousins. People who are regular Straight Dope readers — heck, people who are regular breathers — are familiar with carotenoids, which have many useful properties, the most notable of which is that carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. Beta carotene, found in so-called cruciform (Latin for “icky”) vegetables such as broccoli and turnip greens, is thought to prevent cancer. More relevant to this discussion is the fact that carotenoids tend to be a persistent red orange in color. Depending on formulation, they impart a red, pink, orange, yellow, or even green cast to some plants and to the higher links in the food chain by which those plants are consumed — and thank goodness, because it would be a dull world otherwise. Examples: