Back to Africa Check

No, flamingo eggs don’t have pink yolk, but flamingos do produce ‘milk’

“Flamingo eggs have pink yolks,” claims a graphic shared on Facebook on 2 February 2020. “Flamingos also produce pink milk for their young.”

It includes a photo of the pink birds, with an inset showing a cracked-open egg with a bright pink yolk.

Flamingo ‘milk’

It might be surprising to learn that one of these claims is true. Flamingos aren’t mammals, like people and cattle, which produce milk from special mammary glands. But flamingos and a few other bird species do produce something known as “crop milk”. 

As the British Trust for Ornithology and Stanford University explain, this “milk” is different to mammal milk. A PLOS One journal article describes it as “curd-like” and “cheesy”. It’s produced in a sac called the crop, which is usually used for storing food. 

Flamingos produce their “milk” from the lining in their crop. They then regurgitate it out of their beaks to feed their young. But the “milk” isn’t pink.

Pink eggs and spam

The second part of the claim is incorrect.

Flamingo eggs do not have a bright pink yolk. As seen roughly a minute into this YouTube video, the yolk is a dark yellow, like that of a chicken. Other sources, such as Seaworld Parks and Entertainment and National Geographic, also do not mention pink yolks in their descriptions of flamingo eggs.

A reverse image search for the egg with pink yolk turns up a Shutterstock image from April 2015. The image is tagged with words like “colours”, “colourful” and “fun” – but not “flamingo”. It doesn’t show a flamingo egg. – Keegan Leech


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.