Country of pink flamingos
• Country of pink flamingos
Nakuru in Kenya - Lake million pink flamingos, without exaggeration. Hundreds of thousands of birds flock here, creating a spectacle for tourists. If you do not ever ever see photos of hundreds of thousands of pink flamingos nesting along the shores of the lake, then this report is for you. At the same time we find out why these birds stand on one leg.
The name of the lake "Nakuru" in the Maasai language means "dusty place", although in fact it is quite swampy, shallow and salty.
But sometimes this lake now covers a pink veil of hundreds of thousands of birds. Flamingo here can gain up to 1.5 million, they are located bright pink carpet along the lake shores.
Here flamingo is more than anywhere else in the world, millions of individuals. Sitting and taking off near the coastline, the myriad creatures form a constantly changing pattern of different shades of pink.
Flamingo sometimes called "fire bird", because they have some really bright plumage. Sometimes flamingos is called "bird of dawn", because other types of feathers gently - pink.
Thousands and thousands of birds:
The algae and crustaceans that live in these lakes are excellent food for flamingos, observe that a real pleasure.
At flamingos thin long feet, flexible neck and feathers, the color of which varies from white to red. Their special feature is the massive arched downwards beak with which they are filtered from the food or water sludge.
Feeding flamingo pink, dangling head and leading it from side to side, so water is filtered through the bill. Their beak and tongue edges are provided with small plates that trap planktonic algae, small crustaceans, mollusks and other invertebrates.
The characteristic red or pink color of their plumage gives a special pigment from the shells of small crustaceans. With the food it ingested a bird, and then in the plumage.
Flamingo is so unusual bird ( "in appearance among the same birds that among four-legged camel," as he wrote about them Russian traveler, Karelin GS), which is composed of many legends about them.
As mentioned, Lake Nakuru in Kenya is quite salty. Generally, the salt lake salt concentration may be such that it does not stand none of vertebrate, other than a flamingo. At this unique event to draw attention Davrin Ch. "How strange, - he said, - that a living being can live in such places!"
Most of the time spend flamingos in the shallows. These birds fly hard and very reluctantly, mainly only in case of danger or going astern. They had a long run up, and already taking off, continue to "run the air." Then they "retract" and stretched his legs ...
"The flock of flamingos flying are an unforgettable sight - wrote Professor NA Gladkov. - Against the background of reddish-yellow sea, the blue of its smooth surface, and a pale blue sky stretches a chain flying flamingos, which, like a garland of light bulbs, the flashing red light, all together turn to the observer gray tones of feathers, like a garland has gone out. "
Natural enemies flamingos are foxes, wolves, jackals, and large birds of prey - eagles and falcons, often settling near the colonies.
In case of danger, when the flamingos fly, predator hard to choose from the pack some sacrifice.
Why flamingoes stand on one leg? Standing on one leg flamingo, stork and other long-legged birds are used to minimize heat loss in the wind. This loss through uncoated feathered legs because of their unfavorable ratio of surface to volume is large enough, so the birds are trying to keep your feet warm in turn well insulated feathers.
What is the part seems extremely uncomfortable and difficult position of flamingos requires absolutely no effort. Special physiological adaptation prevents bending of the supporting leg, because of which the leg is extended, even without the use of muscle power.
The life span of these beautiful birds in the wild is not known exactly, but in captivity they live to be quite solid for avian standards of age - 30 years.
Despite the apparent fragility, flamingos have learned well to adapt to the most difficult conditions of life. Maybe that's why archaeologists have found the remains of birds, dating back 30 million years, almost identical to modern flamingos.