What a symbolic-looking bird, eh? Well, cancel that last notion, as I'm not sure exactly what this unusual bird would symbolize, since perceptions vary from person to person. I do know one thing is for sure, other than the fact that they are generally pink for the most part (except for the ones that are nearly white or the ones that are almost red) and like to hang out in large groups and have a big party, is that they have a really big beak for their microscopic prey, along with some really long legs. Anyway...
The pink flamingo and its cousins constitute a remarkable family of birds (I'll provide some party pics, in a moment). They are neither geese nor storks, despite their goose-like honking and the spindly appearance of their legs.
Their coloring varies from a pink to an almost red to a nearly white. The coloring of the flamingo's plumage (feathers) depends mostly on its diet; the pink tinge of its plumage is the result of its consumption of the coloring matter in the tiny crustaceans on which it feeds, going by what I have read in the past. For example, in captivity, it is essential to obtain shrimps for flamingos, otherwise their plumage becomes quite white. Or, as Wikipedia puts it: "Young flamingos hatch with greyish reddish plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-Carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored and thus a more desirable mate; a white or pale flamingo, however, is usually unhealthy or malnourished. Captive flamingos are a notable exception; many turn a pale pink as they are not fed carotene at levels comparable to the wild." To read more traits and various aspects concerning this creature from Wikipedia, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_flamingo
Its odd-looking bill functions like a comb or filter, thanks to thousands of little teeth that allows the water to pass through while dredging out the tiny creatures that swim around in the pink flamingo's crop.
In order to feed, they shake their heads from side to side to sieve their food from the water.
Like I said before, they like to party... Yeah, well, maybe not the kind of party that many humans refer to, but a 'party' as in a large group via social gathering, eh? At any rate, the Pink Flamingo is a sociable bird and lives in colonies that can sometimes reach as many as tens of thousands of birds.
At breeding time, the flamingo builds a dome of mud, on the top of which the female lays a single egg that she then straddles and covers. The young are grey and their legs develop slowly.
Look below, for some Pink Flamingo Party Pics:
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