I’m so excited to share Audrey’s flamingo encounter photos by Elles Photography Studios! Just a little recap to start off with – Audrey is obsessed with flamingos (or “flinginos” as we love to hear her call them). She asked for a flingino big girl room in our new house and she wants a flingino birthday party for her 4th birthday in January.
Each year I do photos for the girls around their birthday and I typically do them in the theme of their birthday party. I do this for two reasons – 1. so that I can print and frame photos to use at their party and 2. so that we can look back on these photos and be reminded of what they were interested in that year. I thought how cute would it be if we could take photos of Audrey with live flamingos?! So I reached out to the Birmingham Zoo and the zookeeper who is over the birds responded back saying that he would love to facilitate this encounter for us. I definitely thought it was a long shot asking to do this, so I was thrilled when he came back with an emphatic YES!
We ended up doing this encounter last month because they are about to shut down the flamingo exhibit for renovations and it will be closed until spring. This is earlier than I typically do birthday pictures, but it all worked out great. We are so thankful for Kirby with the Birmingham Zoo for making this happen for our girl and to our photographer Danielle (Elles Photography Studios) for making the drive down to do this shoot. She always embraces my crazy ideas and she always does an amazing job! I’m in love with all of them!
We got to go in before the zoo opened. Kirby had hoped that we would be able to entice them with their breakfast and they would interact with Audrey. They were all asleep when we first walked up with their heads buried in their back feathers. Kirby shook the pan of food and all their heads popped up real tall. It was so cute. We tried to feed them from the outside of the fence for a little bit.
I guess the birds were a bit spooked with a strange little person being in their space because they wouldn’t come super close to her. We were hoping they would come eat out of her hand, but they weren’t interested. Audrey was very excited to interact with the flinginos, but when she was in there she didn’t quite know what to do! It was adorable. She thought they were going to “hock” her (which means poke her with their beaks).
According to Audrey “hock” means three things.
1. A flamingo’s beak
“His hock is funny”
2. The noise a flamingo makes
“The flingino says hock!”
3. The action of poking something with their hock (beak)
“I bet the flingino will hock me”
(Sentences straight from the mouth of Audrey <3 )
We of course had to let Raley have a chance to get in there and be a flamingo. 🙂
Flamingo Fun Facts
While we’re on the subject of flamingos, let’s talk about some fun facts, because they’re really fascinating birds
- Flamingos CAN fly, and they actually fly very well, although they’re usually seen wading
- They only weigh 6-8 lbs
- Baby flamingos are grey until about 3 years of age
- They get their pink color from the food that they eat such as plankton and shrimp
- The backward bending of the leg is actually at the ankle, not the knee
- Flamingos are monogamous for a season, sometimes longer
- They sleep with their eyes open
- They say hock and sometimes they get in arguments and hock each other with their hocks 😉
*I ordered Audrey’s dress from Amazon
If you enjoyed this post and the pictures, you may be interested in some of our past photo sessions with Elles Photography:
Raley’s Tinker Bell Photoshoot
Audrey’s Rainbow Trolls Photoshoot
Audrey’s Pancakes and Pajamas Photoshoot
Raley’s Lilo and Stitch/Vintage Coca Cola Photoshoot
Wizard of Oz Inspired Family Photoshoot
Vintage Charlottes Web Photoshoot