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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query flamingo. Sort by date Show all posts

Flamingo Birthday Party

We finally had our flamingo birthday party!! Hazel is now officially five! It was a blast even though she now has her second ear infection since Christmas and is on her second round of antibiotics. Yes, it has been a tough Christmas break. But onto our happy time! A few weeks ago, I shared our printed invitation as well as some of the terrific products we reviewed from Oriental Trading.

Flamingo Friday: Ping Pong Ball Flamingos & Species


We did a fun craft with ping pong balls. I found a pack of colored ping pong balls for $1 somewhere and saw the bright pink and though flamingo. Yes, I have flamingo on my brain too much lately. We finally found some time to try to make them. (I think the yellow and green balls may become other types of birds in the future.)

We started by choosing a color for the legs and I cut a pink pipe cleaner in half for the necks. We first glued on the leg pipe cleaner, but then wanted to wrap the neck pipe cleaner under it so we ended up regluing. We curled the ends of the legs to be the feet. On the other end of the neck we wrapped around a pink pom pom and attached a piece of pipe cleaner to be the beak. We wrapped it into the neck pipe cleaner and twisted it to form the beak. We used a marker to add the black (well I couldn't find the black marker, so I used brown) on the ends. Then we let the glue dry.
After the glue dried we glued on feathers to cover the leg pipe cleaner going around the ball and to form the tail and wings. It only took two feathers on each side.
After last week's post about Andean flamingos, I made mine with yellow legs like the Andean flamingo. I also thought I would share a bit about the species of the flamingo. There are six recognized species: 
The greater and lesser flamingos live in Africa, Asia and Southern Europe. The others live in South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.(Source) I will share more about each species another time, but of course we have already looked at the Andean flamingo.
The greater and lesser flamingos are named for their sizes. The Jame's flamingo is named for the person who "discovered" the species and the others are named for one of the places they live.


So that is our little flamingo craft and lesson!! Enjoy!! And come back to share and be inspired at Sharing Saturday!!

Flamingo Friday: Birthday Party Part 2: Food & More!


Last week I shared the first part of our Flamingo Birthday Party for Hazel's fifth birthday. That post was more about the decorations and activities as well as what we did on her actual birthday. Today I am going to share the food we had and one other extra for the party I did. 
First our menu:
Appetizers
Chips and Salsa mixed with Sour Cream (it turns pinkish) and plain salsa
Vegetables and Dip (in particular carrots)
Shrimp
Edible Arrangement of Fruit

Lunch
Ginger Carrot Soup
Sandwiches (make your own ordered platters from grocery store)
Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Vingarette

Dessert
Strawberry Birthday Cake
Pink Flamingo Rice Krispie Treats

Beverages
Pink Flamingo Punch
Spiced Warm Cranberry Apple Cider
Coffee
Bottled Water with diy labels

The appetizers were fairly easy. For the salsa mixed with sour cream, I did two parts salsa to one part sour cream. My goal was to make it pinkish. I bought a pre-cut vegetable platter that came with ranch dip, but added more vegetables and divided it all into two plates. I also found a red pepper dip that was pink, so we served that as well. My mother brought the shrimp and prepared them (Steve and I do not eat shrimp) and my mother-in-law brought the fruit. I was going to use my flamingo cookie cutter and cut out some flamingo watermelon to add to it, but the watermelon looked awful at the store the day of the party, so we skipped it. I made signs for all the food. The most intriguing ones were the shrimp and carrot items. This also gave me a way to mark the salad with the nuts. Shrimp is what turns flamingos pink and carrots have the same beta carotene (it makes the carrots orange).



For the ginger carrot soup, I combined recipes I found at Fine Cooking and Simply Recipes. I tripled the recipe and used 3 pounds of carrots. I liked the Roasted Carrot Soup recipe since it also had celery in it. I thought the portions were better in the other one. I used vegetable broth so it would be a vegetarian option. My mother is now eating vegetarian mostly, so I wanted her to have options. It turned out fine, but was not the best ginger carrot soup I have ever had. The main meal I order a deli platter and roll platters from the grocery store that is five minutes from our house. The Rite Aid is next door and the manager always gives Hazel balloons for her party as a gift. It makes it all easy to pick up and much easier to put together. Then I adapted the recipe I found on Closet Cooking for the salad. I liked that it has avocado in it. I did not put the bacon in and since I do not like blue cheese, I used goat cheese. My mother helped me make the salad. I had made the dressing the day before using frozen raspberries.

Hazel and I had big plans to make pink rice krispie treats. We used brown krisped rice instead of the Kellogg's brand. I added some red food coloring to the melted marshmallows. Then we let it sit while we went out. Then I tried to cut the flamingos out of them with the cookie cutter. I put pink frosting (which I bought) on them and pink sugar to make them sparkle. Since Hazel was sick (she has been since Christmas night), I did this by myself. I also made the cake myself even though she talked about making it with me all year.

For the cake, I adapted the recipe I found on  Confections of a Foodie Bride. Since we used the same recipe last year, I knew how it turned out. I roughly doubled the strawberry puree used in the cake. I also added some red food coloring since Hazel wanted the cake to be pink like a flamingo. I made it into a 9" by 11" sheet cake so it could be the water the flamingo (lollipops) live on. I used store bought blue frosting and then used a sparkle frosting gel to write on it. Hazel shares her birthday with a good friend of ours and she wanted her name on the cake as well to honor her. Then I used the flamingo lollipops I got from Oriental Trading to finish our cake. 

For our beverages, I peeled the labels of a pack of 24 water bottles and printed out my own with something about Hazel's party and flamingos on it. For the pink flamingo punch, I was inspired by the recipe I found on Kathryn's Kloset. When I went to buy pink lemonade I found strawberry lemonade that was bright pink and used that. The punch was a huge hit and was finished at the party. I left the short plastic cups for the punch but also had tall thin ones for the kids to use with the flamingo straws and had the covered ones with straws (Hefty Zoo Pals) for the younger kids. For the Spiced Cranberry Apple Cider I used the recipe I found at Betty Crocker to cook it in my slow cooker. I did not look at it carefully and did not get whole allspice. I used about a teaspoon of ground though. It was delicious!! Steve or his mother made the coffee. Since I don't drink it, I don't make it well.


The final personal touches were Flamingo Trivia at the various tables and in the bathroom. (You can get a copy without the Hazel line on it.) Then I took some of our leftover wedding favors (votive candles in glass holders) and replaced the wedding stickers with flamingo birthday stickers. I wrapped them in pink tulle and tied a pink feather to them. I left them on a table in Hazel's bedroom where we were putting coats with a sign telling people to take one when they got their coats to leave.

For more ideas for flamingo parties, check out my Pinterest Board! For more on flamingos (books, crafts and info) check out all of our Flamingo Fridays!

Flamingo Friday: Baby Flamingos


Today we are going to talk about baby flamingos or flamingo chicks. Before there can be a chick however the parents have to mate and build a nest. There are several YouTube videos that show the flamingos hatching and feeding their chicks. I gave you two links to check out.

I am going to share with you several books today. First I will share two that read like a picture book, but are non-fiction.
Mud City by Brenda Z. Guiberson is a story telling about a chick hatching in the Bahamas. This story starts with the mother sitting on the nest. It describes the flamingos sitting on their nests to protect the eggs from the hot sun. It also tells us how the parents roll the eggs and take turns on the nest. The flamingos in this area build their nests on high ground near the mangrove trees. A bad storm comes and much of the nesting area is destroyed, but the nest this story is about is not. Finally after four weeks, a fluffy white chick hatches. Both parents have glands that make a red liquid of fat and protein to feed the chick. For three days the parents will stay near the nest to protect the chick and on the fourth day the baby will try going for a swim. The parents will fly out to other salty lakes for food. They sometimes migrate hundreds of miles during the night before returning to feed the chick. At five weeks the chick has new grey feathers. His beak is now long and curved and he begins to eat like the adults. At some point the parents and all the adults leave the salty lake due to lack of rain and thus lack of food. The flamingo "chick" tries to fly and slowly succeeds at it. He will leave to find food as well. He will continue to return to the mud city of his birth with the other young flamingos still inbetween food searches. Over the next three years the young flamingos grow tall and more pink. At five years the flamingo is an adult. He will begin the courtship dance looking for a mate. He will return to the mud city of his birth to start his own family.

Flamingo Sunset by Jonathan London is a story of flamingos in Bonaire. It begins in the spring with a couple building their cone like nest and laying a single white egg. Once the chick is born he stands up and falls and stands up and falls and makes a squeaky, puppy-like bark. At a week old the baby watches his mother and father feed and tries it himself. They survive a thunderstorm with the parents protecting the chick. Then the time comes when his pink feathers are in and it is time to fly with the other flamingos making a flamingo sunset.

Next we will look at A Flamingo Is Born by Max Alfred Zoll.

This book has black and white photographs on the interior. This book focuses on flamingos that live in the West Indies and focuses on the birth of one chick a female. Flamingos build their nests in the water away from enemies on land. Their nests are made of mud and look like muddy termite mounds. It starts with a female finding a mate and includes a picture of the birds mating. About two days after mating, the female will lay one fertilized egg in the nest. Then the parents will take turn protecting the egg. This book says they sit on it to keep it warm or to incubate it. Other books say they sit on the egg to keep them out of the too hot sun. The egg will hatch in about a month.
Caribbean Flamingos at Stone Zoo

While incubating the egg the parents will turn the egg to exercise the chick. After four weeks, the baby will being to peck at the shell. It can take a whole day before the chick is finally out of the egg. After the chick is born the mother may go for a cool swim and to find food. The baby is born with a straight bill. The bill will grow more curved so the chick will be able to feed itself soon.

Flamingo Chicks at Stone Zoo

After four days the chicks will want to go exploring. She will call to her mother when she is hungry and will not go too far yet. The mother will clean the nest of feathers which lined it when the chick was born. The chicks legs will grow stronger and stronger until the chick is able to walk well. Before being able to stay in the water a long time the chick will spread oil that is made on an area its back near its tail. The chick will spread the oil with its beak. This oil will keep the feathers from getting wet. 


The next book we will explore is A Flamingo Chick Grows Up by Joan Hewett. In this book they look at a group of flamingos on a salty lake and focus on one chick the author calls Puck. In this book they discuss the father's role of sitting on the egg and watching over the chick.The mother feeds the chick a kind of milk called crop milk that she has in her stomach. She brings the cop milk into her beak and drips it into Puck's. At three days Puck tries to walk on his webbed feet. He takes a few wobbly steps. After only one week, he is steady on his legs and leaves the nest. The chicks go group together some times and other times they want to be with their parents. Chicks' legs grow quickly. Puck is born white but grey feathers begin to grow in as a few weeks and his beak begins to curve. At five weeks, Puck's beak is fully formed and he is able to eat completely on his own. At seven weeks, he spends his days with other chicks.  At three months old Puck begins to get longer grey feathers with a touch of pink. The flying feathers are long and black and have grown in by winter.
Flamingo Chicks at Stone Zoo
In the end of the book there is a timeline of Puck's life up to seven months old. There is also more information about flamingos in general. It is here that we discover Puck is a flamingo in Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Flocks of Caribbean flamingos lived in Florida, but they were hunted for their brilliant feathers and now they only tend to live in captivity there.

Finally I am going to share a third book called Flamingos by Cecilia Pinto McCarthy. This book is a lovely picture/simple reader about flamingos and has a section taking you through the life from chick to adult of a flamingo. It is this section that I am sharing information.

Caribbean Flamingo Nests at Stone Zoo

Flamingos nest with a colony (group). The nests are cone-shaped and made of mud. They are up to 12 inches high. The parents take turns sitting on the nest and in 27 to 31 days a gray or white chick hatches. The adults feed the chick a red "milk" called crop milk that is made in their crop or part of a bird's throat.
Parent feeding chick crop milk

After three years a chick's feathers will turn completely pink. Flamingos live for 20 to 30 years and healthy flamingos have pink feathers for life. 

So that is our look at flamingo chicks!! I hope you enjoyed it! We will have some baby flamingo and adult flamingo crafts soon. We just did not get them done with the start of school.

Flamingo Friday: Getting Ready for a Flamingo Birthday Party with Oriental Trading



Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

It is hard to believe it is almost Christmas. Once Christmas is over, we begin to really focus on Hazel's birthday. This year I am trying to have most of the work done before Christmas or at least the things I can do ahead of time. Oriental Trading was kind enough to send me some flamingo items to review, so here is my review as well as a preview of the party.

Flamingo Friday: Chilean & Caribbean Flamingos

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

Continuing on looking at the species of flamingos, I thought I would give you some information about the last two that live in the Americas: the Chilean and the Caribbean Flamingos. Now these are the only flamingos I have seen live since our local zoo and Sea World have these kinds.


Source: By Kevin Walsh from Bicester, England, UK.
(flamingoscene.Uploaded by PDTillman.) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Chilean Flamingo:
Source
The Chilean Flamingos range from 31 to 51 inches in height. Their weight ranges from 4.2 to 6.6 pounds. It is closely related to the Caribbean and the Greater Flamingos. Their plumage is pinker than the Greater flamingos but lighter than the Caribbean. Their legs are also grey with pink joints and a large amount of black on their bills. Their young are grey and remain grey for two to three years. Both male and female Chilean flamingos produce the "milk" to feed their young.
Chilean and Caribbean Flamingos at Stone Zoo, Stoneham, Massachusetts
Here is a YouTube Video of some Chilean flamingos at the Atlantic Zoo.

They breed in temperate South America: from Ecuador and Peru to Chile and Argentina and east to Brazil. They also have been introduced in Germany and the Netherlands and have a small population in Utah and California in the United States.
Hazel and a flamingo at Sea World

Source

Sources:  Sea World Animal Bytes and  Wikipedia



The Caribbean Flamingo:
Source
A Parent feeding a Young Chick at Stone Zoo
 The Caribbean flamingo is also known as the American flamingo. It is the only species of flamingo that inhabits North America naturally. The Caribbean flamingo is one of the larger and the brightest of the flamingos. Their height ranges from 31 to 57 inches and their weight ranges from 4.2 to 6.6 pounds. Their feathers are pink with  red wing coverts. They have black flight feathers (like most flamingos). Their beaks are pink and white with a black tip and their legs are completely pink.
Source: By Martin Pettitt from Bury St Edmunds, UK
(Caribbean flamingo) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Caribbean flamingos are found in the North Coast of South America, the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and a range of Caribbean islands. There is also a small population in the Galapagos Islands. They are the only species of flamingos that breed in small groups (sometimes as small as 3-4 pairs).
Sources: Wikipedia, Sea World Animal Bytes, and Flamingo Resource Centre
Source

Here is a video from YouTube of a Caribbean flamingo chick taking its first steps.


That is what we have for this week's Flamingo Friday. Soon we will talk about the Greater and the Lesser flamingos. Enjoy!!

Flamingo Friday--The Andean Flamingo



Andean Flamingo - geograph.org.uk - 1372629
Source:
Copyright Trevor Rickard and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Today I want to share with you a little about the Andean Flamingo. First I want to share that they are on the endangered list because their numbers are plummeting.I am going to share information I found in Birds edited by Tim Harris. It is part of the Facts at Your Fingertips and Endangered Animals series by Brown Bear Books. I will also add some information I found on-line. We will start with this YouTube video of some Andean flamingos in Bolivia.


The Andean flamingo is the rarest of the world's five species of flamingos. They belong to one of the oldest bird families which originated over 50 million years ago and are now threatened by the continuing exploitation and deterioration of their habitat. The Andean flamingo has show a decline equal to 24 percent in 15 years. Breeding success is consistently low and the adults live 50 years (therefore considered long-lived).


Andean flamingos
By Valerio Pillar (DSC_5251.JPG (DSC_5241 cropped)) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

They live on the puna. The puna is a high, cold, dry plateau in the Andes Mountains. These flamingos live in Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The flamingos live in lakes where the water is ten times as salty as the sea. The lakes are home to diatoms which are microscopic single-cell algae which is what these flamingos eat. Like all the other flamingos, the Andean flamingo is an upside down filter feeder. (For more on feeding see my post here.) Here is a YouTube video of some Andean flamingos feeding Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust near Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom.


In the winter the Andean flamingos migrate to the lower wetlands. It is expected that this migration is due to the extreme aridity of the lakes in winter.  (Source)

The species nest in only ten or so major colonies and the breeding sites are under increasing pressure. Away from regular colonies, the flamingos are still hunted for their meat, feathers and fat (used in traditional medicine). Most of the birds killed are juveniles. Some people also remove their eggs for personal consumption or to be sold. There have also been an increase in mining near the breeding colonies and the development of the mining industry and towns to support it are major threats. There is water pollution as well as water diversion which cause fluctuating water levels. (For more on breeding and the life of a chick see my post here.
Source: Arpingstone at Wikimedia Commons
Now what makes the Andean flamingo different than the other species of flamingos? They are the only flamingos with yellow legs. Their bodies are pale pink with bright underparts and noticeable black patch on the wings.  Their bills are yellow and black and of course curved. (Source) They have three forward facing toes with no hind toes. Their voice is nasal and raspy in the calls in the colonies. The young Andean flamingos are grey in color. (Source)
Flamingo Flying
By Paulo Fassina (Flamingo Flying 2) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I should note that only the greater flamingo is not considered threatened. Even with several million birds (all four species combined) they are threatened due to hunting, long breeding cycle and there are fewer than 30 major breeding sites in the world.

I'll be sharing this in the Multicultural Kid Blog Hispanic Heritage Blog Hop. Have you entered the amazing giveaway yet?

Flamingo Friday--Fish and Flamingo: A wonderful story of an unusual friendship


Today I am going to share a book Hazel and I have been enjoying. It is a tale of an unusual friendship between a flamingo and a fish. The book is called the Fish and Flamingo and is written by Nancy White Carlstrom. The two became friends and talked every day about their lives. One day the flamingo tells the fist about flying at sunrise and the beautiful pink sky. The fish tells the flamingo about coming to the surface of the water at night time and seeing the glowing stars. Each wishes to show their friend the beauty they have seen, but do not know how to do it since the friend is not awake at the correct time.

One day the flamingo tells the fish that she will be leaving with her flock the next day. She tells him to be at the same spot at the same time the next day since she will be flying overhead and will wave to him. The fish is so excited and he tells all his friends and has them come with him. 

At the time the flamingo flies over with her flock, the fish and his friends look up and see a pink sky. The fish thinks that his friend has found a way to show him the sunrise and finds it so beautiful. The flamingo looks down and sees many fish and as the sun comes out the silver on each fish sparkles and the flamingo thinks the fish is giving her the gift of seeing the stars. 

Neither friend knows that they have given their gift to one another, but they both feel so honored that the other has.

For this book, we tried out soft pastels. Hazel immediately drew a sun and I suggested we draw the sunrise. She and I added pink and smudged it all together. Then I worked on the ocean. I made it blue and then added some silver. The silver did not shine enough, so we added some glitter glue to be the fish showing the flamingos the stars. I loved how it came out and how well it goes with the story.

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.


Flamingo Friday--Flamingos' Coloring


Welcome to our second Flamingo Friday!! We have been enjoying learning more about flamingos and hope you are too! Today we are sharing a non-fiction book with you and something we learned from it.

We have been reading several flamingo books. We will share each one with you eventually. If you missed the first one which was the wordless Flora and the Flamingo, you can check it out here. Today we are going to share Wild Flamingos by Bruce McMillan.
Now before I begin with what we did with this book, I would like to point out the wonderful picture on the cover. I love it because you can see the black flying feathers of the flamingo. Did you know they had black feathers?

File:Bonaire in its region.svg
Source

This book focuses on flamingos on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. The species of flamingo are the Greater Flamingos which are the largest of the flamingos. Their average height is five to five and a half feet tall. Their average weight is eight pounds for the males (who are taller) and six and a half for the females. Their populations is estimated to be half of the number there was before Europeans first came to the Americas. Bonaire protects the flamingos and their breeding ground. There is concern about the development of their feeding area in Venezuela though. The book goes through the lives of a flamingo from birth until adulthood and returning to nest again.

Now many people know that flamingos get their color from the food they eat. They eat small shellfish and immature brine flies at both the free-swimming larvae and intermediate chrysalid stages. All of these animals eat aquatic plants and bacteria that contain the same chemicals that make carrots orange. So for a simple craft we decided to paint with carrots. We experimented with a few different methods. First we took a carrot and tried to use it as a paintbrush. I gave Hazel pictures to color that I printed out. The first one came from Lucy Learns.
This method worked all right, but was not great. Here is our end result:
Our other method involved grating the carrot and then placing the pieces on the picture and hammering them into the picture.

We put a piece of paper on the bottom and top. I think we actually flipped it so the picture was on top. Immediately afterward the picture looked like this:
This coloring page came from The Color. Then after it dried a bit, I picked off some of the carrot flakes and we got this:
We also bought a can of carrots to try to paint with, but we haven't had time yet. 

Feedtogether tj

The other interesting thing I learned about flamingos is how they eat. The flamingos always eat with their heads upside down. Their top jaw is hinged and moves like our lower jaws. They filter-feed and are able to separate the food from water and mud. Their bills are lined with hair like teeth that filter the food. Sometimes you will see a flamingo move its feet and bill around before eating. This is to stir up the mud a bit and get the food in the water since it is easier to filter water than mud. 

Greater Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus roseus) feeding W IMG 9577

So that is our lesson flamingos this Flamingo Friday!! I hope you enjoyed it!! And definitely check out Wild Flamingos by Bruce McMillan for more about the Greater Flamingos in Bonaire!