What a Grace


Joined September 2008

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Photo is taken in LA, with Nikon D50, Sigma lense 70-300. Added HDR tone mapping.
On photo is seen one of breeding habit of flamingos:
Sometimes only one display is performed, but more often, a predictable sequence of displays are carried out. Not all flamingo species perform all of the described displays, and some perform the displays slightly different than described. Flamingo displays include the following:

• “Head-flag” involves stretching the neck and head up as high as possible, with the bill pointing upwards, and then rhythmically turning the head from one side to the other.

• “Wing-salute” is performed by spreading the wings for a few seconds, showing their striking contrasted colors, while the tail is cocked and neck outstretched.
• In the “inverted wing-salute”, the flamingo angles its head down, cocks its tail, and orients its body so that the tail is higher than the chest. The wings are then held partially open above the back with the black flight feathers pointing up and the bend in the wing pointing down.
• “Twist-preen” entails the bird twisting its neck back and appearing to preen quickly, with its bill behind a partly open wing.
• “Wing-leg stretch” involves the leg and wing on the same side stretched out and to the rear.
• “Marching” is performed by a large group of flamingos that cluster together, stand erect, and then move in quick, synchronized steps in first one direction and then another.

Young flamingos hatch with greyish reddish plumage, but adults range 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 coloured and thus a more desirable mate; a white or pale flamingo, however, is usually unhealthy or malnourished. Captive flamingos are a notable exception; many turn a pale pink as they are not fed carotene at levels comparable to the wild. This is changing as more zoos begin to add prawns and other supplements to the diets of their flamingos. The Old World flamingos were considered by the Ancient Egyptians to be the living representation of the god Ra, while in Ancient Rome, their tongues were considered a delicacy. Also, Andean miners have killed flamingos for their fat, believed to be a cure for tuberculosis.
In the Americas, the Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped nature. They placed emphasis on animals and often depicted flamingos in their art, while in The Bahamas they are the national bird. In the United States, pink plastic flamingo statues are popular lawn ornaments.

Artwork Comments

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