Flamingo with Chick

23 Jul

Flamingos, for some unknown reason, often stand on one leg. For some other unknown reason I’ve been known to do that too – especially when watching them. They usually do it standing the water, though.

Adults range from light pink to bright red due to substances obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored and thus a more desirable mate; a white or pale flamingo, however, is usually unhealthy or malnourished. Flamingos filter-feed on brine shrimp and blue-green algae. Their beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, and are uniquely used upside-down. The pink or reddish color of flamingos comes from carotenoid proteins in their diet of animal and plant plankton.

Flamingos are very social birds that live in colonies that can number in the thousands. These large colonies are believed to serve three purposes for the flamingos: predator avoidance, maximizing food intake, and exploiting scarce suitable nesting sites. The most basic and stable social unit of flamingos are pair bonds which are made up of one male and one female.

Flamingos will viciously defend their nesting sites and young. In the first six days after hatching, the adults and chicks stay in the nesting sites. At around seven to twelve days the chicks begin to move and explore their surroundings. After two weeks, the chicks join groups and their parents soon leave them in these groups.

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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in About Birds


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