Birding/Flamingo's

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Question
Hello Mr. Lederer!

I'm really wondering if its possible to change the color of a flamingo into mint green.
I know how a Flamingo turns pink because of the carotenoids.
But would it be possible to create food that works another way or combining the carotenoids with the color mint green?

Thank you so much!

Answer
Interesting question. I doubt it, though, because green pigment is very rare in the bird world and the green plumages you do see are made through a combination of yellow and brown pigments or yellow and the blue made by feather structure. If flamingos were able to process other pigments and put them in their feathers, you would see it in nature because they eat green pigments in algae all the time.
For fun, though, look at http://phototipoftheday.blogspot.com/2012/03/rare-green-phase-of-pink-flamingo.h  

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Roger Lederer

Expertise

Any and all about WILD birds - the science of ornithology. Information about birdwatching, ecology, conservation, migration, behavior, banding, rehabilitation, feeding, songs, binoculars, identification, and careers in ornithology. No questions about pet or caged birds, please.

Experience

Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of Ornithology.com . Have written thirty scientific papers, three bird field guides, a textbook in ecology four other bird books, the latest being "Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs". Have traveled to 100 countries watching birds and have spoken to hundreds of groups about birds.

Education/Credentials
PhD in Zoology/Ornithology; Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences; former Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico

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