Friday, August 27, 2010

Flamingo Friday: You Used to Be a Beautiful Baby...

The flamingelehs are flamingelehs no longer. In just two short months--almost exactly—they’ve gone from being adorable little white fuzzies to slightly more awkward grey fuzzies to, now, ungainly adolescents with the beginnings of real feathers but none of the elegance of their adult counterparts.

Just as a reminder, here’s what they looked like just a few days after hatching:

To give you the best sense of just how bad the poor things look now, I’ve included an adult in the picture below, as a reminder of what flamingos are supposed to look like when they’re not babies:

It’s sad, isn’t it? –That they grow up so fast and so badly. On the other hand, maybe when the rest of their adult feathers come in and they’re less messy-looking with dark-grey down, they’ll be a bit more elegant, even if they remain a drab color for the next year or so. …Although I have my doubts:

They really have to fend for themselves now, too. The adults, no longer protective, threaten these guys with their beaks just as they do one another; no more concerned attention and crop-milk for these fledglings.

The one that’s three days older, #28, seems pretty unconcerned by these changes, preening away without a care in the world:

But—and, yes, I acknowledge that I’m anthropomorphizing like mad—I think #29 looks a bit wistful about the good old days when she was cute and doted upon:

Poor things. Adolescence is tough. But it will all get better once they get to college…


Anca said...

Flamingelehs seem to be like cygnets--truly ugly ducklings in their adolescent phase. Still, that gray down is far prettier than acne.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Ooh, I'll get to be with you for the next flamingo Friday. Yay!

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