The Flamingo

Thunder’s good friend Frederick is a flamingo. Flamingos live all around the world and are often found near water. While most can be seen wading through water, they are strong swimmers if the need arises. If they need to take to flight, they have powerful wings to carry them away from predators. Their legs are much longer than the rest of their bodies. Their knees are further up their legs, closer to their bodies. The bend in the middle of their legs is actually their ankles.

Flamingos can often be found at large zoos and other outdoor attractions that garner quite a few curious visitors. Their colorful feathers make them a spectator favorite, which could very well be why Frederick loves to make a good impression.

Not all flamingos have vivid colors though. Some of them have more neutral colors such as grey or white. A bland diet will not provide the same coloring as the flamingos we might see at zoos that feed food created to enhance their coloring and keep them healthy in captivity. The color of their feathers is greatly dependent on the food they eat as the pigment is caused by the carotenoid in their food sources.

When scrounging for food, flamingos will bend their bills upside down as they take advantage of the insects and algae that skims the surface of the water. This bill takes time to grow, for flamingo chicks are born with a straight bill. Before long, the bill develops the curve that allows them to eat on their own. Since flamingos become attached to one partner, these birds mate for life. The female will lay one egg a year. Both parents feed the chicks crop milk when they are born. This crop milk comes from their digestive tracts. They regurgitate the crop milk to feed it to the chicks. After a few days, the chicks learn how to find food on their own and are no longer dependent on the crop milk for their survival.

Thunder worries about Frederick and his friends. If their habitats continue to be overrun by humans, they will lose their homes. Also, the population suffers from the threat of poachers who steal their eggs or kill the birds for their feathers or other body parts.
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Amazing Facts About Flamingos

Video by Wildlife Facts