Friday, May 20, 2011

Flamingo Friday: Other Words that Start with F

As I’ve mentioned, it’s courtship time for the flamingos, a time when even the no-longer-flamingelehs make an effort to strut their stuff:

I’ve seen a lot of wing salutes and wing flapping at the zoo these past months, but it’s only more recently that I’ve observed...other activities.

For one thing, the flamingos seem much more interested in being close, and one flamingo will follow the object of its affection with a surprisingly quiet, but no less intense, persistence.

Because these flamingos are interested in being really close. Really close. Take this pair, for example:

It’s impressive, and a little hard to parse, isn’t it? I try not to think too much about the mechanics of the flamingo Act in Action.

But what I find particularly interesting is that both of these birds have bands on their left legs. And as far as I can recall, the banding is done by sex: right leg if you’re male, left leg if you’re female. So both of these birds (unless there’s been a change in the zoo’s program) are female.

I could, of course, now begin a lengthy discussion on the observations of same-sex mating in a variety of animal species and the various “reasons” for it (including the fact that the very concept of heterosexuality is a human construction imagined and developed within the past couple of centuries)—but instead, I will merely say: Heheheheh.

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


Anonymous said...

I feel traumatized. I just don't need the details about everything.

Anca said...

Fascinating stuff. As Yeats said, there are only two subjects for poetry (and in this case photography): sex and death. I'd be traumatized by the latter.

biobabbler said...

Not to be a bore, but I also know that birds are famously difficult to sex (as it were), so is there any chance they got it wrong? I realize zoo people are pros, but birds can be very difficult to suss out. 'Course, like everything, depends upon the species. Just wondering. =)

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