Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fabulous Flamingos!

How I have enjoyed the amazing tropical birds here in Florida this winter!  Last weekend, while visiting the Sarasota Jungle Gardens with my family, we enjoyed a show featuring exotic birds – Macaws and Cockatoos; encountered a white peacock (see below the close-up shot of his lacy tail feathers); and delighted in photographing at very close range the lovely flamingos - talk about “…things bright and beautiful”!!!

Interesting flamingo facts:

♥ Flamingos are generally placed in their own order – Phoenicopteriformes – and recent molecular and anatomical studies have suggested they are related to grebes.

♥ The coloration of flamingo adults ranges from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored and thus a more desirable mate.

♥ Flamingos “filter-feed” on brine shrimp and blue-green algae. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the shrimp and algae, and are uniquely utilized upside-down. The filtering of food items is assisted by hairy structures called lamellae which line the mandibles, and
the large rough-surfaced tongue.

♥ Flamingos often stand on one leg, the other tucked beneath the body, which recent research has indicated may allow the birds to conserve more body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time wading
in cold water.

♥ Flamingos, in glands lining the whole of the upper digestive tract, produce what is known as “crop milk;” and both parents nurse their chicks for about two months until the chicks’ bills are developed enough
to filter feed.

♥ Flamingo tongues were considered a delicacy in Ancient Rome, and ancient Egyptians believed flamingos to be the living representation of the god, Ra.

For more fascinating facts, consult the Flamingo Resources website.


  1. Riley and I spent a long time watching the flamingoes at the Nashville Zoo on Sunday and I was amazed with their beauty! Now I know a lot more about them! Thanks!

  2. Flamingo's are so beautiful. The white peacock must have been an extraordinary sight!

  3. Such beautiful creatures. I have never seen one in person, but would love to someday experience that.

  4. Your photos are fabulous. I learned something this morning too about flamingos. Enjoy your vacation.

  5. Dear Cassandra, I note that you are on holiday again!! And, what marvellous flamingo photographs. Their pink colour makes them look so exotic and perfectly displayed against the azure blue of the sky.

  6. Oh how interesting! We've got a couple here in town at Butterfly Gardens, such a treat to see them!


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