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If a flamingo were to stop eating food containing carotenoids, its new feathers would begin growing in with a much paler shade, and its reddish feathers would eventually molt away. Molted feathers lose their pinkish hue. What a flamingo eats depends on what type of beak it has. Lesser, James’ and Andean flamingos have what is called a deep-keeled bill. They eat mostly algae. Greater, Chilean and American flamingos have shallow-keeled bills, which allow them to eat insects, invertebrates and small fish. To eat, flamingos will stir up the bottom of the lake with their feet and duck their beaks down into the mud and water to catch their meal.