Flaming Flamingo

This Flamingo was at a zoo that I'd visited. I was struck by the colours and that ever watchful eye. The name "flamingo" comes from Portuguese or Spanish flamengo, meaning "flame-coloured".

Flamingos usually stand on one leg, with the other being tucked beneath the body. The reason for this behaviour isn't fully understood. One theory is that standing on one leg allows the birds to conserve more body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water.

Young flamingos hatch with greyish-red plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly coloured.