Extremely sociable and nomadic, flamingos live together in large flocks numbering in the hundreds. The large groups serve as protection, as individual birds are shielded from predators while their heads are buried in the mud, searching for food. They are able to swim, but prefer mudflats where they breed and feed. They will spend their days in the water and when migrating, will do so at night.
Known as wading birds, flamingos have long, curved necks and down-turned bills adapted for specialised feeding, which includes plankton, brine shrimps, tiny fish and fly larvae. A thick, fleshy tongue works as a plunger to suck food and water into their mouths and then presses the water back out. The shrimp-like crustaceans give the flamingos their pink colour, which will fade in captivity unless they are fed a supplement diet. Young flamingos are born gray and white and only turn pink after two years. When breeding a pair will take turns incubating their egg and the conditions must be absolutely perfect, involving factors such as high rainfall. With yellow eyes, red legs and pink feathers it is certainly a captivating bird, which will put on quite a show by primping, preening and making a good deal of noise. Flamingos have been spotted making a stop at Inverdoorn during their migration.
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CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA