Did you know?
That flamingos did a dance to choose their mates? I spend a lot of time thinking about this thrilling performance of nature,flamingo mating dance . On thing I fail to understand is how this helps them choose their mates from the crowds. But as the saying goes, “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”.
Males nod their heads popping them up and down rhythmically as if dancing to a melodies tune that they only can understand. It seems like each individual male is trying to outdo the other so as to attract attention of a ready female. Females watch from a distance, delighted in the display of the dance unfolding before them and at the same time looking for a suitable father for their nestling.
During this digital era, I can bet my heart that the males’ new move and their dancing styles couple with their light pink colors and bright eyes can make any female to fall in love. Females will also be on the forefront as they partake in similar methods of applying makeup even prettier in the eyes of the males. Once the females sport their mates, they swim next to the lucky male which heightens the performance. Dancing in circles as the pair form a bond and are ready to mate..
Oh, nature, you so crazy!
Flaming-o mating dance can happen once or twice in a year depending with the availability of food and rain. Once the ceremony is finished, pairs build nests about 30cms high to protect 9them from flooding and to keep them cool. A female will then lay a single chalk colored egg which both parents will incubate for 24hours in turns. The incubation period is between 28 – 31 days.
On hatching, a chick will join a creche of a thousand birds in about 6 days. They learn how to run in one week. In about 4 weeks, the young one grows fathers and learns how to fly in about 12 weeks. Flamingoes mature at the age of about 6 years. They can fly up to 60km per hour. They have been recorded to travel about 1540kms although will normally fly as far as the next lake.
Flamingoes are filter feeders. They have tiny bristles in their bills that they use to capture their pray from under water. The lesser flamingoes have the most and finest filaments in their bills. They move their pistons like tongue up to speed of about 20 times per second drawing water into their bills and pushing it backwards to the filaments.
A group of flamingoes is called a flamboyance or a stand or a colony.