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Taken 11-Jul-16
Visitors 16
10 of 121 photos

American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)

American Flamingos live close to water with a very high salt content, which also means they have few natural predators being able to survive in the same areas. Long legs allow the bird to wade into deep water. The webbed feet help them to balance. They will frequently stand on one leg, tucking the other close to the body. Flamingos extract their food from the water by a filtering mechanism, very much like that used by baleen whales. They wade through the water with necks lowered and heads turned upside down, sweeping from side to side. The bright colour of the feathers, legs, and beak comes from carotenoids that are metabolized into several different byproducts (pigments) and deposited, through the blood, to different parts of the body. These come from the food these birds ingest.