Photo: baby flamingo at the Bronx Zoo
October 16, 2007
For these Bronx Zoo flamingos, the mantra “you are what you eat” really rings true.
Unknown to many Zoo-goers flamingos aren’t necessarily pink.
Photo taken Monday, September 10, 2007 by Julie Larsen Maher. © WCS
And none of the six species is native to Florida.
Without the right diet — which means one rich in carotenoids, the plant-based pigments that make marigolds and other flowers so colorful and carrots orange and tomatoes red, etc. — they can be healthy but white! Their crimson color helps them fit in with the crowd, which protects them from predators. Here, a month-old Chilean flamingo chick — which hatched on August 17 — enjoys some crop milk courtesy of its father. Soon the chick will eat a diet of krill, a kind of small shrimp, and a nutritionally-complete food pellet. In the wild, they feed on algae and small crustaceans.