Dancing flamingos; Fresno Chaffee Zoo's superstars

February 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The pink flamingos at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo are usually seen as still and peaceful, but this time of the year, they are making quite a bit of noise and even dancing.

We know flamingos can't read a calendar, so they obviously don't know Valentine's Day is around the corner.

Zoo Asst. Curator of Birds & Reptiles Mark Halvorsen Said, "We have our flamingos doing their great breeding dances with each other. It's called flagging, which is a great term for it. Essentially what they do is they walk in unison together, wave their heads back and forth like a flag and then it will crescendo to a point where they are all calling together."

The flagging flamingos are putting on a show for the ladies. It's like going to a club and seeing dances off all kinds except this one is much more intricate.

Halvorsen said, "As they do their dance prance, the males will hold their heads as high as possible to seem like they are the largest bird to try to have the most elaborate courtship dance and that is appealing to the females I guess it shows the more fit male for breeding."

The feather filled grand finale is a wing flapping showdown with love on the line.

"It allows them to solidify the bonds, gets their blood pressure up and in the mood to do other things," Halverson said.

But this competition may be for the birds because there are plenty of lady flamingoes.

"The males basically have their own choice of whoever they want. The females that are not involved just stay aside. There's never really a fight, so some seem disinterested and others are into it," Halverson said.

If you'd like to see the male flamingos and their unique courtship dance, zoo keepers say you have another two weeks to witness them strut their stuff. Flamingos will nest in March.


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