If you spend time watching the flocks of flamingos at WWT Slimbridge, you will see that when they feed on the flamingo pellet, which is placed in the bowls or troughs for them by Phil and his colleagues, there is a lot of squabbling, arguing, pushing and shoving that goes on. In fact, the table manners of the flamingos can often leave a lot to be desired and birds will actively barge other individuals out of their way when they wish to have something to eat. The flamingo pellet breaks down in the water and forms a kind of “soup” that the birds can filter out in a similar manner to how they collect food in the wild. The squabbling and arguing is normally between different pairs or trios of birds, and is especially raucous when two pairs that feel they are of an equal “stature” both want the same position next to the food bowl. Single birds, feeding alone with no back-up from other flamingos, often get pushed out and have to wait their turn later. Now that it is summer (well, kind of!) and lesser flamingos are spending all of their time outside and the feed bowl for these birds has been moved right to the front of their outside pool, hence you can get a really good view of the jostling and squabbles that occur around the flamingo dinner table. The Andean flamingos are much more sedate feeders, although they do like to stand in their dinner (!) and you can get an excellent view of their feeding behaviours too as their feeding pool is right next to the windows in their indoor house. Watch them feeding with the Chilean flamingos, that share the enclosure and you will notice the different temperament of the two species. The Chileans are much more argumentative and feeding time is a noisy spectacle. If there is a large group of Chileans wanting to feed they can dominate the feed pool and the quieter, more relaxed Andeans will gradually move away and wait until their more excitable cousins have eaten their fill. So whilst these birds might all look tall and pink, they are very different in their behaviour and, dare I be so unscientific, “outlook” on life. A few minutes observing the different species at Slimbridge will give you a real insight into the lives of these birds and how they go about their day-to-day business.