Flamingo, Florida

Flamingos get a bad rap.  They’re so much more interesting than their use as tacky lawn ornaments would indicate.

The bird gets its name from the Portuguese word flamengo, which means “flame-colored”.  The pink coloration of flamingos comes from their diet.  Flamingos ingest large amounts of plankton and the beta carotine in causes the pink color.  American flamingos are brighter than European flamingos because there are higher levels of beta carotine in the diets of the American birds.

Interestingly, the flamingo exerts less energy by balancing on one leg that it does by standing on both legs.  Flamingos experience much less body sway when standing on one leg than on two.

I like the bi-tonal aspect to this photo.  I think the dark green of the water contrasts nicely with the beautiful pinks and oranges of the bird’s plumage.

Flamingo