flame feathered dancers

Hello Again my friends and followers on WordPress

Again I am doing another post of the flamed feathered dancers of Kenya known as the Flamingo.  So here it goes!

Last post I mentioned about their long legged elegance which was something unique about the bird especially when it began to take flight. Now here is the more detail of how wonderful this creature is truly made.

Delicate Bird in the most Forbidding Rugged Environment in Africa

The large number of flamingos that inhabit the Rift Valley thrive off of the series of soda lakes that are indeed unique for the water is so chemically rich in Sodium carbonates that if feels oil to the touch and slightly burns the skin.  The temperatures around the Rift soda lakes can climb to 150 degrees which will give a strong scent of sulfur and brine from the fizzy lake water that hangs heavy in the hot air.

Not to mention that Alkaline compounds and salts in the water are so concentrated that they crystallize and form white crusty deposits along the shoreline.  What is interesting a few creatures can live in such caustic waters yet, tiny creatures do survive there like blue-green algae but, the hot tropical sun warms the Alkaline waters which created ideal condition for the growth of algae in large numbers so algae is concentrate that they turn the lakes water green; the lake looks like emeralds set in a fine necklace with the chain of soda lakes which beautifully adorns the valleys and mountains that run along the length of Great Rift Valley.

The most unique thing about these delicate creature is they exist in such a rugged and hostile surrounding yet, the flamingo thrives in caustic waters with its spindly legs which are resistant to the waters, and webbed feet that prevent it sinking into the soft oozing mud.   I do not think I could survive in a environment like this as well as the flamingo so points for them on that part but, the lesser flamingo is uniquely equipped fro life in this forbidding environment for the beak contains tiny filament that are able to strain and siphon out the microorganisms that are concentrated in the upper two to three inches of the water so when feeding the flamingo holds its beak upside down pointed backwards just below the surface.   The Flamingos tongue resembles a piston that draw water in and forces it out across the tiny filaments that filter out and retain the microscopic organisms.

Colorful Courtship Rituals ever seen in the Rift Valley

We all love or hate the morning sun but when the morning sun rises over the emerald-green waters of the soda lakes its like a giant curtain was lifted for the golden light reveals a vast flock of flamingos glowing like flames of fire on the lake surface for these birds are packed tightly with their neck extended upright displaying birds march in groups tossing their beaks from side to side.

Seeing these birds to march past one another in opposite directions is like a platoon of birds that reflects on the birds feathers forming a mosaic contrasting shades of scarlet and pink.   Flamingos are funny birds to watch for they bob and dancing while spreading their wings wide to reveal the deep red of their wing feather and their vibrant colors run across the water and take to the air only to land again and repeat the ritual.   The flamingos are densely packed that individual birds that cannot take to flight but must wait until those on the edge of the flock take off first and honking or babbling with excitement they produce a clamor that is deafening.

When you think its all over and done then under the cover of darkness the birds take to the air in masses and fly away moving in long lines or a v-formation that most birds due and they fly hundred of miles until they reach their destination- a soda lake that is ideal for nesting and  raising their young but, strangely this migration is simultaneous with that of flamingos on the other Rift Valley of soda lakes.

Interesting to see how animals have their own innate mating rituals so, it would possible that some of these things came out of chance because for the environment and the birds to do this for many years Evolution has no backbone or a leg to stand on.

One more thing for me you to read and enjoy before you enjoy the rest of your day is the upbringing of babies which are not cute like baby swans that are considered to be ugly ducklings.

From Ugly hatchlings to Beautiful Dancers

Flamingos choose to build their nests on lakes that are remote and inaccessible. This isolation is important, since the nesting colony is extremely sensitive. If disturbed, the parent birds may completely abandon their eggs and never return.

The nesting colony swarms with activity. With great excitement parent birds begin building. Bending their long necks, they scoop up mud, bird dung, and a few feathers to form a cone-shaped mound some 16 inches high. It is topped with a slight depression that holds the single egg away from the shallow, alkaline water. Soon hundreds of thousands of chicks begin to hatch. Parent birds fly in and out of the nesting site in vast numbers, busy with the exhausting work of feeding and caring for their begging chicks.

Then, when the chicks are old enough to walk, the parent birds suddenly leave their young behind and fly to another part of the lake, where the blue-green algae are richer and more abundant. Here, away from the demands of their chicks, they will be able to feed and replenish their energy. The huge brood of chicks is then gathered together into a nursery by a few remaining adult birds. Under the watchful care of these nursing adults, the noisy youngsters are herded across the salt flats until they are reunited with their parents. Amazingly, in all this confusion, the parent birds are able to recognize their individual chicks and continue caring for them.

The young chicks are awkward and bear little resemblance to their magnificent parents. Their young legs and necks are short, their beaks are straight, and their feathers are plain white in color. After some time their short legs begin to grow, their necks begin to lengthen and curve, and their beaks begin to turn down, forming the delicately angled shape that is unique to the flamingo. It will take some two to three years before the ungainly chick turns into a beautiful flame-feathered flamingo. It will then pair off with a mate and join the great pink flocks of flamingos that are such a delightful complement to the Rift Valley’s soda lakes.

The flamingo’s grace and beauty are an astonishing example of intelligent design. Observing this lovely creature in the wild delights our sense of sight and sound. But more than that, it heightens our appreciation and love for its wonderful Creator, Jehovah God.

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