Observation # 21
One of the most frequent behaviors of the Flamingos is preening their feathers. This is most often done in the morning and mid day hours. During this time they are often on the shallow area of the Flamingo Lagoon where they are less disturbed by the guests and the wild birds visiting the area. One of the native species that shares the deeper waters of the Lagoon is the Blue Heron. The activities and interactions between the two birds is quite different. The Flamingo is habituated to the Gardens area. It doesn’t fly and is fed on a routine basis. Its behavior is quite placid and its social activities are limited to the other flamingos of the group of four. The Great Blue Herron is solitary and independent of the Gardens. It flies in and out at will. The two species do not interact with one another despite their near equal size and proximity. Their feeding habits are very different and their beak shape reflects this. The flamingo is a bottom feeder and filters the food from the bottom of the shallows and from the surface of the soil. The Herron feeds by hunting for small prey and, with its rapier like bill, plucks its prey as live, individual pieces, usually insects and fish.
This wading Flamingo image is one of my favorites. The subtleties of color in the plumage just ask for looking. The color of the feathers are maintained by diet control. This observation is from the Epicollect5 observation #21.
The blue was just a lucky opportunity for observation. It ‘s grey blue coloration is the source of its name. He just flew in and began prowling the shallow greens for lunch. Here he picked his head up and extended his neck so that the meal he caught would pass easier down its long slim throat. I wonder if he isn’t the prototype for the Sesame Street character, “Big Bird”
#Flamingo #Great Blue Herron #wading birds #feathers #birds