"The Greater Flamingo" Wildlife Tip by MalenaN

Wildlife, Isla Santa María: 10 reviews and 27 photos

  Flamingo on Floreana
by MalenaN
 
  • Flamingo on Floreana - Isla Santa María
      Flamingo on Floreana
    by MalenaN
  • The Greater Flamingo - Isla Santa María
      The Greater Flamingo
    by MalenaN
  • The Greater Flamingo, Punta Cormorant - Isla Santa María
      The Greater Flamingo, Punta Cormorant
    by MalenaN
  • The Greater Flamingo, Punta Cormorant - Isla Santa María
      The Greater Flamingo, Punta Cormorant
    by MalenaN
  • The Greater Flamingo, Punta Cormorant, Floreana - Isla Santa María
      The Greater Flamingo, Punta Cormorant, Floreana
    by MalenaN
 

There is a population of about 400 - 500 flamingos on the Galapagos Islands. They can mainly be seen on Floreana (Punta Cormorant), Isla Isabela (Villamil), Isla Santa Cruz (Las Bachas Beach), Santiago and Isla Rábida.

As you can see in the photo there was only one flamingo in the lagoon when we visited Floreana. That was a disappointment, as there usually are many more to be seen. However, I got the chance to see the flamingos again when I visited Puerto Villamil on Isla Isabela after the cruise with Cachalote.

The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) is a big wading bird with a bright pink plumage. The legs and neck are long and it has a big curved bill. It can be up to 120 cm tall and the wingspan is about 140 cm. The flamingo flies with its neck extended and then you can see that it is black under the wings.

Flamingos feed on crustaceans, algae and small water plants. It is actually the pigment carotenoid which is found in the crustaceans that gives the flamingo its pink colour. When the flamingo is young the feathers are white/light grey. The flamingo feeds in shallow coastal lagoons and because their feet are webbed they can walk in the mud without sinking to deep. When the flamingos eat they move their head upside down under water and filter the mud and water. If you have taken photos of flamingos you have probably, like me, been waiting long for them to lift their head above the water surface. It seems they can keep their head under water for ages.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 12, 2011
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Comments (1)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    I never knew where the flamingos got their pink color. (I thought they were just born that way.)

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