Greater flamingos in flight
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Do you know it uses cosmetics?
Sub-adult flamingos are whitish grey and only attain the pink coloration several years into their adult life. The coloration comes from the carotenoid pigments in the organisms that live in their feeding grounds. Secretions of the uropygial gland also contain carotenoids. During the breeding season, greater flamingos increase the frequency of their spreading uropygial secretions over their feathers and thereby enhance their color. This cosmetic use of uropygial secretions has been described as applying "make-up"
About the bird:
The greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is found in Indian subcontinent, Africa, Middle East and southern Europe
This is the largest species of flamingo, averaging 110–150 cm (43–59 in) tall and weighing 2–4 kg (4.4–8.8 lb). The largest male flamingos have been recorded at up to 187 cm (74 in) tall and 4.5 kg
Most of the plumage is pinkish white, but the wing coverts are red and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. The call is a goose-like honking
The bird resides in mudflats and shallow coastal lagoons with salt water. Using its feet, the bird stirs up the mud, then sucks water through its bill and filters out small shrimp, seeds, blue-green algae, microscopic organisms and mollusks. The greater flamingo feeds with its head down and its upper jaw is movable and not rigidly fixed to its skull
The average lifespan in captivity, according to Zoo Basel, is over 60 years
Adult flamingos have few natural predators. The primary threats to flamingo populations are bacterias, toxins and pollutions in the waters supplies, which is usually run-off from manufacturing companies, and encroachment of their habitat
Pic © @niravpomal
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