American Flamingo: One Black Feather  by AuntDot

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American Flamingo: One Black Feather by 

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This beautiful flamingo was one of many at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa, Florida. I like the way the water looks in this shot as well. The American Flamingo is an amazing, beautiful and colorful bird. Unfortunately, when many people think of flamingos, they think of those horrible pink flamingo yard ornaments that people buy. (Ugh!)

Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D, Canon 55-250 lens at 109 mm
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FEATURED in Canon vs Nikon Group, April 27, 2012
Featured on the RB Explore – Featured work page, March 1, 2012
SOLD as a greeting card, March 1, 2012. Sincere thanks to the unknown buyer.
FEATURED in Feelin’ Good, Sept. 22, 2011
FEATURED in High Quality Images, Sept. 21, 2011
FEATURED in Absolute Clarity, Sept. 21, 2011

(Long, but interesting facts about flamingos)
From the Honolulu Zoo website:
…the American Flamingo is the most colorful specie (of Flamingo). It is a deep scarlet red on head, neck, breast and wings with Lighter shades of scarlet and pink on the back and under the tail. The Primary and Secondary feathers are jet black and make a striking contrast to the vivid colors of the rest of the bird. The beautiful color of Flamingoes is acquired from their diet. The small crustaceans and algae that the flamingoes eat contain carotinoid and other natural pigments that are processed in the body and deposited in the growing feathers. Only specific red chemical compounds will color Flamingoes. This means that you can’t turn a Flamingo blue by feeding it blue colored food.
Flamingoes are very social birds and will not nest unless there are a number of other flamingoes present. Usually there is a “critical mass” of birds that is needed to initiate breeding and smaller flocks tend not to breed us well as larger ones. During the breeding season, group behavior is very important to get the entire flock “in the mood” for breeding and synchronize the production of eggs.
Although Flamingoes are extremely social, they spend quite a bit of time fighting with each other. These are usually only noisy squabbles and pecking skirmishes and never cause any damage or harm. When nesting, you can see that each nest is placed exactly one neck length away from its neighbor, just within arguing distance! The most disastrous consequence of all this fighting is broken or “scrambled eggs!”
Flamingoes build a very interesting nest. Since they nest on barren mud flats, there is nothing else to build a nest from except the mud itself. The mud is piled up one mouthful at a time till it forms a tall 1 to 3 foot cone with a shallow indentation in the top for the single egg. The tall nest is a hedge against rising waters that may wash away the eggs and the height keeps the egg and chick off the hot searing alkaline floor of the mud flat. There can be a 20 to 30 degree temperature difference from the hot ground and the top of the nest!
Young flamingos leave the nest after five days and form groups. But the young will return to the nest to feed on fluid produced in the digestive system of the parents. The adult dribbles this fluid from its mouth into the youngster’s bill. After about two weeks, the young start to find their own food. Flamingos live fifteen to twenty years and longer in captivity.
American flamingos are waders and good swimmers. They congregate in large flocks. Its method of feeding is similar to that of the baleen whales in that the food is taken in along with water and then the water is expelled through a comb-like structure (lamallae) leaving the food behind.
Special anatomical, physiological or behavioral adaptations:
The unique bill distinguishes the American flamingo from many other birds. This bent bill is an adaptation for feeding, and designed so that the bent portion is parallel with the bottom of the pond, lake or flats in which they are feeding. The legs of the American flamingo are long, which enables them to wade into much deeper water than most other birds. Webbed feet support them on soft mud.
Flamingos frequently stand on one leg. Being able to curl the leg under the body, American flamingo keeps the foot warm and conserves body heat. Flamingo stand on one leg in both cool and warm environments.
Flamingo vocalizations range from nasal honking to growling. Specific calls can be associated with certain behaviors. Vocalizations are used in parents chick recognition.

Having lived most of my life in the northeast U.S., I am enjoying retired life in sunny Florida. I enjoy photographing many different kinds of things, but especially flowers and animals, including the beautiful birds found here in Florida. I am currently using a Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D camera, a Canon 55-250 mm telescopic zoom lens, and a Sony P10 Cyber-shot digital camera. My newest acquisition is a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS, a point and shoot which I will be carrying in my purse.

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  • ♥⊱ B. Randi Bailey
    ♥⊱ B. Randi Ba...about 4 years ago

    Both the bird and the water reflections are very nice to look at! Of course this deep color flamingo is amazing…I must take a trip up there!

  • Thank you so much, Randi. It’s a wonderful place to see a great assortment of wildlife, both wild and captive (mostly endangered or injured). Go this month if you can…lots of birds nesting!

    – AuntDot

  • sarnia2
    sarnia2about 4 years ago

  • pat gamwell
    pat gamwellabout 4 years ago

    Gorgeous! I agree with the “lawn flamingos”…uggghhh!

  • Aren’t they the most awful things!!! Thank you, Pat, I’m pleased you like this beautiful real flamingo.

    – AuntDot

  • Dorothy Thomson
    Dorothy Thomsonabout 4 years ago

    This is another beauty Dot… the black feather!

  • Thanks so much, Dot. If you Google “American Flamingo in flight” you can see all their black feathers. I never realized they had black in their wings!

    – AuntDot

  • maggie326
    maggie326about 4 years ago

    Great work.. Beautiful Image

  • Thank you so very much, Maggie!

    – AuntDot

  • NatureGreeting Cards ©ccwri
    NatureGreeting...about 4 years ago

    Great shot Dot :)) I gotta get me some of those horrible plastic flamingos for my poind hahahahahaha LOL!! HUgzzzzzzzz

  • Agh! You wouldn’t really, would you? They give flamingos such a bad name! LOL Thanks, Carolyn!

    – AuntDot

  • Michaela1991
    Michaela1991about 4 years ago

  • MommyJen
    MommyJenabout 4 years ago

    What great color!! Good capture Mom!

  • Thanks Jen!

    – AuntDot

  • RebeccaBlackman
    RebeccaBlackmanabout 4 years ago

    Beautiful capture, lovely colors and water ripples….

  • Thank you so much, Rebecca!

    – AuntDot

  • Linda  Makiej
    Linda Makiejabout 4 years ago


  • Thanks, Linda. Much appreciated!

    – AuntDot

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