Country of pink flamingos
Categories: AnimalsBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/country-of-pink-flamingos.html
Nakuru in Kenya is a lake of a million pink flamingos, without exaggeration. Hundreds of thousands of birds flock here, creating a real spectacle for tourists. If you have never seen photos of hundreds of thousands of pink flamingos nesting along the shores of a lake, then this report is for you. At the same time, we will find out why these birds stand on one leg.
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1. The name of the lake "Nakuru" in the Maasai language means "dusty place", although in fact this lake is quite swampy, shallow and salty.
2. But sometimes this lake is covered with a real pink blanket of hundreds of thousands of birds. Flamingos here can number up to 1.5 million, they are located in a bright pink carpet along the shores of the lake.
4. There are more flamingos here than anywhere else on Earth, millions of individuals. Landing and taking off near the coastline, myriads of creatures form an ever-changing pattern of various shades of pink.
5. Flamingos are sometimes called the "fire bird" because some of them have really bright plumage. Flamingos are sometimes referred to as the "morning bird" because other species have pale pink plumage.
7. Thousands and thousands of birds
8. Algae and crustaceans living in these lakes are excellent food for flamingos, which are a real pleasure to watch.
9. Flamingos have thin long legs, a flexible neck and plumage, the color of which varies from white to red. Their special distinguishing feature is a massive downward-curved beak, with which they filter food from water or silt.
11. Pink flamingos feed, hanging their head and moving it from side to side, so water is filtered through the beak. Their beak and the edges of the tongue are equipped with small plates that trap planktonic algae, small crustaceans, mollusks and other invertebrates.
12. The characteristic red or pink color of their plumage is given by a special pigment from the shells of small crustaceans. With food, it enters the bird's body, and then into the plumage.
14. Flamingos are such unusual birds (“in their appearance it is the same among birds as a camel among quadrupeds,” as the Russian traveler G.S. Karelin wrote about them) that many legends have been composed about them.
15. As already mentioned, Lake Nakuru in Kenya is quite salty. In general, on salt lakes, the concentration of salt can be such that no vertebrate animal, except for flamingos, can withstand it. Ch. Davrin drew attention to this unique phenomenon. “How strange,” he exclaimed, “that a living being could live in such places!”
16. Flamingos spend most of their time in shallow water. These birds take off heavily and very reluctantly, mainly only in case of danger or going for food. They scatter for a long time and, having already taken off, continue to “run through the air”. Then they "retract the landing gear" and extend their legs...
18. “In a flock, flying flamingos present an unforgettable sight,” wrote Professor N. A. Gladkov. “Against the background of the reddish-yellow seashore, its blue expanse and the pale blue sky, a chain of flying flamingos stretches, which, like a garland of electric light bulbs, either flash with red light, or all together turn to the observer with gray tones of plumage, as if the garland had gone out.”
19. Natural enemies of flamingos are foxes, wolves, jackals and large raptors - eagles and falcons, often settling near the colonies.
21. In danger, when flamingos take off, it is difficult for a predator to choose a certain prey from a flock.
22. Why do flamingos stand on one leg?
Standing on one leg is used by flamingos, storks and other long-legged birds to minimize heat loss from the wind. This loss through unfeathered legs, due to their unfavorable volume to surface ratio, is large enough that birds try to keep their legs alternately warm in well-insulated plumage.
24. What from the outside seems to be an extremely uncomfortable and difficult position, the flamingo requires absolutely no effort. A special physiological adaptation prevents the skating leg from bending, which causes the leg to remain extended even without the use of muscular strength.
26. The life expectancy of these beautiful birds in natural conditions is not exactly known, but in captivity they live to a quite respectable age by bird standards - 30 years.
27. Despite the external fragility, flamingos have learned to adapt well to the most difficult living conditions. Maybe that's why archaeologists were able to find the remains of birds that are 30 million years old, almost identical to modern flamingos.