Flamingo Friday--How a Flamingo Beak Works

Today we are going to share the book Flamingos, Loons and Pelicans by Mel Boring. This book has a good amount of information about many different types of water birds. The reason I am sharing it today is because I was trying to think about a way to make a model of the flamingo beak and low and behold I open this book and discover they have an activity to do just that.

Some things I learned from this book about flamingos. They have yellow eyes. Airplanes are the flamingos biggest enemy. When one flies near a flamingo, the bird will go into a frenzy and may smash its own egg. Years ago there were no flamingos born in the United States, but then some came to live near Miami, Florida. The lake there is home to about 900 flamingos.

Now more about how flamingos eat. Flamingos are upside-down filter-feeders. So to eat, it sticks its beak between its legs, upside down. The beak works like a cup. The top of the beak is hinged like our bottom jaw, so it can move and scoop. It scoops up the murky water and the flamingos pump their tongues to filter the water through slits in their billtops. Once the water is out the flamingo is left with algae and small fish for food. 
Flamingo Beak Set Up

Now following the books suggestion on trying to "eat" like a flamingo, I put some small stones and water in a a large bowl. Then I found two spoons--one slotted and one not. They suggested a slotted spoon and a wooden spoon, but I could not get this to work with the bend on my slotted spoon.

Next I had Hazel stand over the bowl and try to scoop rocks and water into the spoons (while bending in half). She however had trouble not squatting to do it and had more success by squatting.
The rocks after the water is drained out represents the food the flamingo would have eaten.

The other activity in this book is making bird tracks. A flamingo's is about nine inches long. Flamingos have webbed feet too.

I hope you are enjoying our adventure in learning more about flamingos.


  1. What a neat experiment! Flamingos are interesting! I hope she had fun!

  2. Wow, interesting! I think I'm learning more through things related to my preschooler than at any other time in my life! lol

  3. I love how you extending learning beyond the book with this fun experiment! I shared it with my son tonight and immediately said, "I want to try that!" I responded, "Me too!" I'm featuring this at the After School Linky on my blog tomorrow. Stop by to check it out and keep on sharing your great ideas!


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