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Flight of the Flamingos

Flamingos fascinate me. From their bright, bold color to their ability to "walk" on water before taking off in flight, they are beautiful to watch. They have traits of several fellow flyers. For instance, similar to their cousins the geese, when flocks migrate they fly in formations.

Flamingos are large birds, so in order to take flight they need a running start. If that's on water, well their webbed feet accommodate them. It was debated for some time if they should be classified as storks or ducks. Finally, it was decided that they should have their own classification. Flamingos are similar to herons and storks, ducks and geese, shorebirds, pelicans and cormorants.

They can fly up to 35, maybe 40, miles per hour and for as far as 300 miles or so.

This photo was taken at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, S.C. What you cannot hear is the noise the friendly flamingos were making. You can imagine them, or take a listen by clicking here.

Flamingos thrive in communities, are social and gregarious. They do not do well when alone.

Woodstorks, with a few Ibis in tow, flew over my house in Hannah just last night, just before a storm. It was an impressively beautiful, dramatic, splendid, spectacular, awesome sight.

I was riveted to the porch and would not walk away to get the camera. There they were, 10 minutes or more, 15-20 at a time. Coming up out of the Lynches River swamps on the winds of a storm.

I hope whatever you do today you have plenty of running room for a proper take-off and the best of winds at your back. I hope you have plenty of buddies to hang with and a flock to surround you and help keep you safe ... Get out! Ponder the wondrous!

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