The Florida Flamingo

The Florida Flamingo

Title

  • The Florida Flamingo

Published Date

  • published 1940

Transcript

the point of curvature to the tip the beak is black, but just above this
black portion there is a band of orange, and beyond this is a splotch of
clear lemon-yellow that ends in a sharp apex at the yellow eyes. The bill
is almost straight when the bird is hatched but becomes crooked as it
grows older.

The flamingo has two things in common with the duck; webbed
feet and small transverse plates edging the upper and lower jaw which
serve as a sieve, allowing the escape of mud but retaining the shell fish
on which it feeds. Flexible, recurved, horny, spines are on each side at
the base of the tongue.

When baby birds are hatched they are covered with white down,
and as they mature the feathers turn grayish-white. Not until they are a
year old do they begin to turn pink, then rose red; the inner lining of the
wing becoming deep scarlet as the wing primaries turn black, and the legs
cerise.

Fully grown in its natural state, the flamingo is all legs, neck and
plumage. Five feet tall, the bird weights only six or eight pounds. The
wings are 16 inches long and perfect plumage is scarlet with the black
primaries and secondaries. Birds in captivity, however, are a dull pink,
tipped with vermillion and carmine. While there is little difference in the
size of the male and female flamingo, nature for the most part gives the
male bird the better of the looks. The negative female is apparently
content to watch demurely while the gaily-colored male struts.