Friday, September 10, 2010

Flamingo Friday: Everybody into the Pool

Last Friday when Patti Abbott and I strolled through the zoo, we of course stopped by the flamingos, who were at first doing what they always do at that time of day: sleeping.

But within a very short time after we started watching them, something agitated them, and with a flurry of hoarse honks, they all roused themselves from their naps and, necks straightened, moved en masse into the pool.

The reaction, I suspect, is an instinctual one, since it’s likely that flamingos are safer from predators, or at least have a head start in avoiding them, if they’re in the water.

I don’t know what exactly alarmed them; we did observe that from the neighboring enclosure, which is under construction, a worker had raised his head above the fence, so maybe seeing a person’s head looking down at them was sufficiently scary. Or maybe they saw one of the red-shouldered or red-tailed hawks that often fly over this area of the zoo and perch in the trees around the birdhouse. Or maybe they didn’t like my shirt.

I really couldn’t say, but in any case, into the water they went. They weren’t so startled, though, that they couldn’t start feeding and preening just moments after the alarm. It makes sense to me; one has to have priorities, after all, and food should—almost always—come first.

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


Anca said...

Just look at that one in the foreground (last photo)! The beak is still dripping from the filtering of food. Great shot.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I've been trying to think of a human equivalent for water when stressed. If you think of one, let me know.

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

Well, I'd happily dive into a lake of chocolate if someone provided one for me, but they seem pretty rare.

Unknown said...

Wow, somehow I didn't realize before that there were SO MANY flamingos at the zoo! I *love* the shot of them all snuggled up in figure 8-ish shapes sleeping. Just great!

As for a lake of chocolate, I do think they are rare...but you could get a giant chocolate fountain (did you see the episode of Vicar of Dibley where she said, "I'm going in!"?!)

Anca said...

You guys make me really hungry for chocolate!

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