Zoology & Botany

flamingo

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy flamingo in advance and a sample of pink feathers

Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of flamingo.) This is a bird.

Remember, to be classified as a bird an animal should have a beak or bill, should have 4 toes on each foot, meaning to be zygodactyl.

The bodies of birds are covered with feathers.

All birds have two wings and a tail.

Remember, all animals move! Wings help birds

fly and soar!

(Point to the flamingo) Say: Flamingos are one of the most interesting types of animals in the world. There are six known species of them. They are different from many other types of birds because of the length of their legs. Flamingos are famous for their bright pink feathers, stilt-like legs, and S-shaped neck. . All Flamingos feature yellow eyes regardless of what species they are. Their wings are made up of delicate feathers that keep them warm, allow them to swim and fly. The webbed feet of flamingos allow them to stand in the muddy waters without losing their balance.

Go back to the picture of the bluebird. Say: let’s find bluebird’s body parts. This is its head, eyes, nose (Two little holes on the beak to breath from), beak, body, legs: 1,2,; this is its beautiful tail! The actual knee is very close to the body and is not visible through the bird's plumage. Flamingos aren’t often seen flying but they mostly fly at night which is why most people don’t notice them. Remember that birds are living things. They need energy to live. Flamingos eat larva, small insects, blue-green and red algae, mollusks, crustaceans and small fish. Their tendency to eat both vegetation and meat makes them omnivores.  Flamingos embody the saying "you are what you eat¨. ( Hold up the picture or sample of pink feathers) Say: Flamingos are pink because the algae they consume are loaded with beta carotene, an organic chemical that contains a reddish-orange pigment. (Beta carotene is also present in many plants, but especially in tomatoes, spinach, pumpkins, sweet potato and, of course, carrots.) The mollusks and crustaceans flamingos snack on contain similar pigment-packing carotenoids. If a flamingo were to stop eating food containing carotenoids, its new feathers would begin growing in with a much paler shade, and its reddish feathers would eventually molt away. Molted feathers lose their pinkish hue.

This colorful bird found both in South America and Africa. The flamingo is also found in the warmer areas of southern Europe and western Asia They favor environments like estuaries and saline or alkaline. Flamingos are generally non migratory, but changes in climate or water levels in their breeding areas will cause them to relocate.

It is believed that flamingos are monogamous. Once they mate, they stay with that mate. Flamingos build nests that look like mounds of mud along waterways. At the top of the mound, in a shallow hole, the female lays one egg. The parents take turns sitting on the egg to keep it warm. After about 30 days, the egg hatches. The young born white, with soft, downy feathers and a straight bill. The bill gradually curves downward as the flamingo matures. Both parents take care of the newborn flamingo, feeding it a fluid produced in their digestive systems. After about three weeks, the adults herd young flamingos into large groups called crèches where they start to look for food on their own. We need to take care of Flamingos and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

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