Recently I had the privilege of visiting some of our annual guests....flamingos, the beautiful migratory birds who come from far away land every year, looking for food around the water bodies. Flamingos in flock can paint the whole landscape pink, with their elegant long pink neck, strong pink beak.
The flamingos get their pink colour because of the algae they consume are loaded with beta carotene, an organic chemical that contains a reddish-orange pigment.
Carotenoid levels in their food vary in different parts of the world, which is why American flamingos are usually bright red and orange, while lesser flamingos of the drought-plagued Lake Nakuru in central Kenya tend to be a paler pink.
If a flamingo were to stop eating food containing carotenoids, its new feathers would begin growing in with a much paler shade, and its reddish feathers would eventually molt away. Molted feathers lose their pinkish hue.
Flamingos are really what they eat!!!