Flamingos are water dwelling tropical birds which are known for their bright pink feathers, stick liked legs and curved bill. They stand only on their one long stick liked leg for a long period of time. Flamingos hold their bills upside down while eating,often for several hours a day. They do this to filter out their food while skimming the water.
The word "flamingo" is derived from the Latin and Spanish words for "fire," referring to the vivid pink color of the bird's feathers. But Did you know that these birds are not pink from birth?
Young flamingos are grey and white at birth. They turn pink after they turn two years old. The food of flamingos primarily consists of carotene-rich algae and crustaceans. Flamingos' well-known hot pink or reddish coloring is caused by this pigment called beta- carotene which gradually comes from eating algae and crustaceans.
However, flamingos also lose their pink color. They don't have mammary glands but they can create a specific type of "milk" from their upper digestive systems. To feed their offspring, male and female flamingos both make crop milk. Red and white blood cells, protein, and fat are all components of this mixture.
They lose so much pigment while making this crop milk that the color of their feathers changes to a faint pink or white. As the chicks grow older and learn to eat on their own, the parents eventually regain this hue.
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