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American Flamingo


The American Flamingo is most noteworthy for its uniquely pink color, its elaborate courtship dance, and its eating habits that have more in common with whales than fellow birds. More common in Colombia and Caribbean islands, the Galapagos American Flamingos are an oddity and only number about 315 on the archipelago. Their carotenoid-rich diet keeps their special color bright, as do secretions that transfer pigment up to their feathers. You can tell the age of a flamingo by how pink it is, as the young lack the pink coat. Their long necks help them reach heights of almost 5 feet, and their large tongues enable a sort of baleen feeding filter called the lamellae that helps them sift water through while keeping precious food.

The mating rituals of American Flamingos is a sight to behold, featuring an intricate dance that includes cocked necks and the flaunting of wing tips.