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Guest Post Creature Feature: Chilean Flamingo
Huge varieties of birds and animals are the asset we can proudly boast of. They add to the biological diversity of the land. It is our responsibility to conserve all those species which inhabit and share our land. The Chilean Flamingo is a species of birds which has similar characteristics to almost all other breeds of flamingo. This species is often getting misrepresented because of its characteristics which resemble other species. These flamingos are known to converse in goose-like honking or squawking.
The Chilean Flamingo is a little smaller than Greater and Caribbean flamingos. It usually grows up to 3-3.8 feet and weighs slightly less than five pounds. These can be otherwise called the pink beauties since their feathers are pink in color. The tail, chest and wing areas are intense pink in color and the plumage is a pale shade of pink. The beak is white near its face and it turns to black near its tip. The most amazing characteristic of the Chilean flamingo is that there is a pink cap which covers its ankle joints. These joints are designed to help the flamingo to dip its head under the water. That is the way it catches its food from water.
As the name itself indicates, these are mostly found in Chile. This does not mean that they are found only in this location. They may also be found in the Andes, Uruguay and Peru. Like other flamingos Chilean flamingos also prefer shallow waters. Generally the water surrounding these areas is alkaline and there will not be much vegetation.
The Chilean Flamingo is a social creature much like other flamingos. They live in groups, sometimes up to thousands of birds together in a flock. They feed, mate and migrate in huge flocks. They fly with their neck and legs extended fully and in v-shaped formations. While migrating they honk and squawk in order to make sure that they are all together and connected. They stand only on one leg while resting and curl their long necks under one wing. These birds often sleep in water to protect themselves from predators. When they do not sleep, eat or mate, they preen their feathers to keep their bodies waterproof and clean. This activity keeps their feathers in good condition to fly. They face the wind and sleep or rest in order to keep rain and moisture away from penetrating their downy coats.
Chilean flamingo – Phoenicopterus chilensis
These pink beauties look slender, but they can stand on one leg for hours on end. They can withstand extreme climatic conditions ranging from scorching summers to chilly winters of up to -30 C.
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