After weeks of battling unusually warm temperatures in the UK, one flamingo has already adapted to the rapid change in climate.
Multiple onlookers at Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust's Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire have captured images of one its 250 famously pink birds adapting its natural stance to mimic that of a swan. According to a report from the Telegraph, the wading animal's adaption has experts baffled and has resulted in the new name for the 52-year-old bird: flamingo swan.
“Lots of flamingo go for a quick paddle around, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” said a flamingo expert at Slimbridge, Paul Rose, who confirmed that the behavior came as a result of the recent record-high heat to hit the region. “I think it is his way of keeping cool in the heat of the day,” he said.
While the behavior is a change from the bird’s usual stance, which consists of standing and continually keeping one leg out of the water, Rose insists the animal is not in any pain or danger. “He floats with his legs outstretched behind him for long periods of time,” he said. “I think it is his way of relaxing, as he seems very content. It is presumably the equivalent to a human floating in a swimming pool on a lilo [flotation device]."
According to WWT’s website, the center, which is the only location in Europe where all six species of flamingos can be found, is also experiencing an early peak in breeding for its Chilean species. Experts, who are also chalking up the increase to the heat wave, estimated that this calendar year may be the most successful breeding period in recent time.
“With these nice long days, they have lots of time to get big, strong and healthy before the winter sets in,” the head of aviculture at WWT Slimbridge, Mark Robert, told So Glos magazine Wednesday. “We are pleased the weather has spurred them on to lay so early and think it may be a very good season.”