GREATER FLAMINGO, PHOENICOPTERUS ROSEU, FLAMING RÓŻOWY
GREATER FLAMINGO, PHOENICOPTERUS ROSEU.
The greater flamingo is the largest living species of flamingo, averaging 110–150 cm (43–59 in) tall and weighing 2–4 kg (4.4–8.8 lb). The largest male flamingos have been recorded at up to 187 cm (74 in) tall and 4.5 kg (9.9 lb).
Most of the plumage is pinkish-white, but the wing coverts are red and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. Chicks are gray.
Why are flamingos pink?
Flamingos get their pink color from their food, they really are what they eat. The coloration comes from the carotenoid pigments in the organisms that live in their feeding grounds.
Many plants produce natural yellow, red or orange pigments, called carotenoids. Carotenoids give carrots their orange color. They are also found in the microscopic algae that brine shrimps eat. As a flamingo dines on algae and brine shrimps, its body metabolizes the pigments — turning its feathers to pink color.
Have you ever seen a flamingo eat? Flamingos are filter feeders that use their beaks to strain out algae and small crustaceans from water. They do this by placing their beaks upside-down in water and moving them to intake mouthfuls of both water and food followed by pushing just the water back out! We can see flamingos walking backwards during filtering.
Where we can find greater flamingos?
It is found in parts of Africa, southern Asia, the Middle East and southern Europe. I took the pictures in The Park of Molentargius – Saline, in Cagliari, Italy.
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