The Science Channel recently posted some video footage of flamingos. We are accustomed to seeing pictures of these pink birds and the natural beauty they possess. After seeing this video, however, many viewers were shocked by what was shown.
When you first see it, you will think that it is one flamingo digging its beak into the head of another flamingo. That second flamingo is holding its beak over a youngster’s mouth, and it looks as if there is blood dripping off of the beak and onto the younger flamingo.
Although it looks violent, it’s actually something that has a much different truth behind it. These 2 flamingos are both parents and they are attempting to feed their baby at the same time. Flamingos produce something known as crop milk, and it comes from their digestive tract. It is red in color and they regurgitate the crop milk to feed their young.
The crop is a portion of the alimentary tract where the birds store food before it is digested. This is true in flamingos and many other invertebrates and birds. Crop milk is the secretion of the lining of the crop.
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These secretions from the esophagus of flamingos that you are seeing in the video are harmless and perfectly natural. It’s just one of those amazing things about the world around us that we may not have known before.
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