What has a long neck, a beak, wings, stands on one foot, and is pink? Flamingos, of course!
These pretty pink birds live where the air is warm, and where small ponds and lakes are located. They are quite well-known in many ways, and they are very magnificent creatures.
One of the many surprising things they can do is practically walk on the water’s surface because of their amazing webbed toes! The reason they do this is that it helps them gather up speed before flying. Flamingos always stick together, flying in packs that are sometimes as large as 100,000!
When it’s time to eat, what’s on the menu? Shrimp, snails, and algae are some favorites of these beautiful birds!
When a flamingo spots a tasty treat, it sticks its head in the murky water, rotates it upside-down, and grabs the yummy morsel using its upper beak as a spoon. It then positions its head the right way to eat. A bunch of small, wispy, hair-like things that are in its mouth act as a filter to separate the actual food and the murky water from which it came.
A flamingo’s nest looks like a pile of dirt and mud and is built on the banks of streams. At the top of this heap, there is a small hole where the female flamingo lays a single egg. The parents alternate sitting on the egg until it hatches, which takes approximately 30 days. The babies are born with extremely soft feathers and a straight beak, which curves as they grow older.
Both the mother and the father flamingo will take care of the hatchling for about 5 days – then the young one can join other newborns, only going back to its parents for food. All of the baby flamingos have a unique voice that their parents identify them by. In three weeks’ time, the little ones can join the big group of flamingos, called a crèche, and start hunting for their own food.
As you can see, the flamingo is truly a marvelous bird that has many surprising attributes!