My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Flamingos From All Over

I got interested in figuring out flamingo species after spending a couple of days watching two groups of them at Sylvan Heights Bird Park.  There is one group of flamingos with three species in it. Most of the pictures come from that group.  The American flamingos live in the Landing Zone, where you can get within touching distance of them, although separated from them by a fence. It is very hard to get pictures of them without a fence in the background or foreground so I kept just one picture of them.

(Note: click on a picture to see all larger.)

Most of these birds are Chilean flamingos - Bills gray with black tip and pink knees on gray legs and feet. Not sure what the bill bump meant

Think this is a juvenile chilean

More Chileans

Lesser flamingo in front

A Chilean

After I'd taken many pictures of single to multiple flamingos, I started seeing them as art.  I also loved that I could see different expressions in their faces.  I fought to isolate some compositions of them and then tried to fit them into frames as they contorted themselves.  I ended up with lots of pictures of parts of them.

Spotlighted flamingos

American flamingo in a moody moment

Loved those stern expressions - all they are missing is the pitchfork

Same expression with pitchfork

Trying to stuff as much of a flamingo as I can into this picture - may be a juvenile greater flamingo

What great tonality

The only way I could showcase their feet was to take just the feet on those rebar legs

That second guy was not following my stage directions

I think this is a young greater flamingo - love those rebar legs (can't find leg color in juveniles)

A lesser flamingo - see all the black in the bill? And it is more reddish 

Think this youngster is a juvenile Chilean

Flamingos are fascinating to me on many levels.  They are so strange and beautiful.  And was blown away when finding out that their knees are actually their ankles.  Their knees are hidden under their feathers.

And they feed more like  baleen whales and oysters then regular birds. They have horny plates in their beaks which let them strain food from the mud and water. And their bills are upside down and only the top bill is not attached to the skull so only it will move. So, they have to feed with their bills upside down so the top bill can do the dropping and moving.

This guys are filter feeders

Feeding  - they use their bills upside down

 American flamingos used to live in the Everglades,but they were extirpated 100 years ago.  Any flamingos seen in the wild today are believed to be escapees. But now they are reappearing in Central Florida, north of where they once were numerous. Check out that story here, then put it on your bucket list to  add them to your life American birds.

I'm joining Wild Bird Wednesday. For more blogs about birds, click the picture.