flamingo chick

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(via San Diego Zoo (@sandiegozoo) • Instagram photos and videos)

We’re tickled pink with the start of the spring season. Let the countdown to flamingo chick season begin! Chicks tend to hatch each year in late May to mid June. Nesting mounds will go up this Friday, so keep your eyes peeled the next time you visit our bright greeters. 💕 (Hint: turn the volume up for some tropical vibes)

The Winds of Fortune

So this is for my darling girl @blimeyhermione​, who after reading this post, wanted some lesbian witch fairy tales. So here’s the first one. See the other two here and here.


There was a heavy knock at the door. He looked around, a pained expression on his face and he knew what—who—was behind it.

“Don’t open it!” cried his wife, looking stricken as she held their baby girl, not yet three hours old.

“I—I have to,” said her husband defeated. He kissed his wife on her forehead, smoothing her hair, and then turned towards the door. Before he could reach it, however, in burst the witch, Solana, in all her mystic glory. She was tall and dark as obsidian. Her long hair was pulled high on her head and she looked terrible and resplendent in her golden gown.

“Give me the child, my dear,” she spoke to the wife, who pulled the baby in close to her chest.

“Who are you?” asked the husband, suddenly quite bewildered. “You’re not—”

“I am Solana of the East and I have come to claim what is mine,” she replied, rising to her full height and making him cower. “Your wife promised me her first born child in exchange for your,” she sneered at him, “happily ever after.” She reached out her arms to pluck the baby girl from her mother, when suddenly, there was a rumble in the atmosphere.

“What was—” started Solana, when all of the sudden, down the chimney in a whirlwind of soot and cold breezes, emerged the western witch, Zephyra, small and spritely. Where Solana was tall, she was petite; Solana was dark where she was fair, with almost translucent skin. She looked cold and sharp, like a diamond in snow.

“My good man,” Zephyra said in her light, airy voice, “my most ardent congratulations. I have come to collect what was promised to me. I—”

“Who are you?!” exclaimed Solana, looking at the tiny witch incredulously. It stopped Zephyra in her tracks. She eyed Solana distastefully.

“I am Zephyra of the West. This man traded his first born child for the eternal marital bliss I have granted him.” She turned to the couple, “You should not have involved another witch. She has no powers over compacts made out of free will.’ And to Solana once more, “You can do nothing to stop it, my Sister. The man made a deal.”

“I’m not stopping it, I’M collecting,” Solana retorted. “SHE promised me the baby in exchange for a lover. I have kept my promise and I intend to get what’s mine, Sister,” she added with a snip.

Zephyra looked between the husband and wife and Solana. “Son of a bitch,” she said, dropping the airy attitude. The light suffusing her winked out as the ethereal act dropped. “You two have made a whole mess of this, haven’t you?”

Keep reading

Pink flamingo feeding their young by Alejandro Prieto Rojas, Mexico. Gold award and Bird Photographer of the Year 2017 winner in the best portrait category.

This image was taken during the annual feeding of the flamingo ( Phoenicopterus ruber) chicks at their nesting area at Río Lagartos in Mexico.
Photograph: Alejandro Prieto Rojas

SPAIN, Madrid : Flamingos move around a pen at Fuente de Piedra lake, 70 kilometres from Malaga, on August 8, 2015 after a tagging and control operation of flamingo chicks to monitor the evolution of the species. The lake, which is the most important breeding ground for flamingos in the Iberian Peninsula, is also a nature reserve and a haven for birds with over 170 different species recorded. AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO

Dr. Felicity Arengo is the associate director of the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. This month, she is conducting a census of flamingo populations in remote regions of South America. Read the first post in the series here.

We are standing at the edge of Laguna Grande, surrounded by snowy peaks and magnificent volcanic rock formations that seem almost cartoonish. From here we can see most of the lake, covered with pink dots. Two hours later we have an estimate for this section, but will have to count at three other points to cover the whole lake.

When we are done we tally our results for the whole lake: over 15,000 Puna Flamingos are present. We also counted 50 Andean Flamingos and a single Chilean Flamingo small numbers in comparison. We’ve counted up to 18,000 Puna flamingos here in past years, but our lower count this year is not necessarily alarming.

This year we find around 160 chicks, some around a month old: gray and slightly larger than the fluffy, white two-week old chicks, and there are still 100 flamingos sitting on eggs. Timing for different groups of mated pairs is slightly offset, occurring in several waves over the breeding season. We also count around 520 abandoned nests with eggs. Flamingo eggs and chicks are very vulnerable, experiencing high mortality, which is why our work with communities near these sites is as important as collecting data. 

Read the full Field Journal on the Museum blog. 

SPAIN, Fuente de Piedra : A picture taken on July 19, 2014 shows a flamingo chick on the Fuente de Piedra lake, 70 kilometres from Malaga, during a tagging and control operation of flamingo chicks to monitor the evolution of the species. The lake, which is the most important breeding ground for flamingos in the Iberian Peninsula, is also a nature reserve and a haven for birds with over 170 different species recorded. AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO