The University of Michigan states that flamingos live on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. They are common along the coastline of Africa and the Mediterranean Sea. Some are found in India and other Asian countries, the Caribbean, the southern United States, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and northern South American shorelines.

Flamingos' habitats are typically coastal mud flats that surround estuaries. These locations provide mud that the birds pile up to make nests. The salty water reduces the number of other species that compete for food in addition to limiting the number of predators. Flamingos live in large flocks that sometimes have thousands of members. Occasionally, these colonies use up the available food and must migrate to find new sources.