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Friday, April 29, 2016

Greater Flamingo

Photo Credit: Yathin sk
Wading along the edges of shallow, salty lakes, the greater flaming ducks its head as it fishes for tiny invertebrates with its boomerang-shaped beak.

The graceful, pink flamingos fly in loose flocks, in long, single lines or in V-formation. Their pink color comes from chemicals called carotenoids, which are contained in the algae they eat.

The greater flamingo is particular about its choice of habitat. It needs shallow, very salty lagoons and lakes in which to feed and breed successfully.

The flamingo dislikes disturbance, particularly at breeding times, and will often seek larger expanses of water for solitude.

The flamingo filters food from the water in much the same way as the blue whale. It uses its specially adapted bill to capture and filter its food, a combination of protozoa and algae, as well as crustaceans, mollusks, and insects.

Did you know? 
  • What appears to be the flamingo's knees are actually its ankles, which bend backward when the bird sits down. 
  • In ancient Rome, flamingo tongues were considered a delicacy. As recently as 30 years ago, flamingos and their eggs were eaten by people in parts of southern Europe and the Caribbean.
  • Flamingos are a type of wading bird that live in areas of large shallow lakes, lagoons, mangrove swamps, tidal flats, and sandy islands.

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