Topic Idea and Outline #1- Flamingos

This topic submitted by Kelsey Powell ( at 5:03 PM on 6/2/02.

Jen, Stacy and Tom relax on their way to Gaulin Reef in the Bahamas

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

I chose to research a caribbean bird species which is an occasional straggler to the Florida coastline. Everyone knows the Flamingo as a bright pink bird with a long neck and long skinny legs, but there is much more to learn! I will introduce my topic with an old folk tale of how birds, all of which used to be white, came to have different colors. I will proceed to discuss the classification of the bird, along with characteristics of these large waders. Found exclusively in our area of research this summer, this bird is a perfect topic of study, especially since the Bahamian island of Inagua is home to the largest colony of Caribbean Flamingos on the planet!

The Caribbean Flamingo

- Classification: Phoenicopterus ruber

- Geographic range/ distribution

- Physical characteristics: head, tongue, appendages, feathers, brain vs. eye size, etc.

- What makes Flamingos pink? food habits: how they eat, what they eat

- Reproduction: copulation, nesting, egg laying, feeding young, flightless period

- Behavior: flight, swim, sleep, vocalization, "communal stomp", "head flagging"

- Habitat: can remain healthy in unnatural zoo environment, but pink color fades to white

- Migration: move in herds, or "pats", of hundreds to thousands

- Senses: hear, sight, taste etc.

- Predators and who protects them: Bahamas National Parks

- Importance to humans/ human interaction


National Geographic Society. Field Guide to Birds of North America. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1983.

Pough, Richard. Auduban Water Bird Guide. Garden City New York: Doubleday & Company, 1951.

Brooks, Bruce. On the Wing. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1989.

Slater, Peter. Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior. New York: Equinox Limited, 1987.

Chapman, Frank. Handbook of Birds of Eastern North America. New York: Dover Publications, 1966.

Brown, L. The Mystery of the Flamingos. London: Country Life Limited, 1959.

Gallet, E. Flamingos of the Camargue. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1950.

Palmer, Ralph. Handbook of North American Birds. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1962.

Perrins, Christopher and Middleton, Alex. The Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985.

Forshaw, Joseph. Encyclopedia of Birds. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998.

Grzimek, Bernhard. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1972.

For Further Info on this Topic, Check out this WWW Site: (search "dorothy's fabulous flamingos") .
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