Friday, July 15, 2011

Flamingo Friday: Why Can’t We Just Have Bugs Like All the Other Kids?



There’s something about flamingos that makes them do everything differently, from their mating rituals to their not-quite-beak-fights to their bizarre baleen-esque eating—and this weirdness extends to how they feed their young as well. Mind you, I’m not saying that regurgitating fish or insects into an infant’s mouth isn’t a bit off-putting in and of itself, but at least it’s typical. (Among birds, that is. I don’t know how you were raised, but I meant “among birds.”)

But, no: flamingos feed their young crop milk, a strange substance secreted by male and female adults and fed—or sort of dripped—to these one- or two-month-old youngsters beak-to-beak, as in the photo above. The flamingelehs look pretty excited about it, but I can’t help but wonder if, watching the young of other wild birds around them, they don’t start asking their parents some tough questions about why they can’t be like the other kids. (“And if all the other hatchlings jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?”)

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}

1 comment:

Beyond My Garden said...

I did not know that. Interesting.
nellie

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