"The Greater Flamingo" Isla Isabela Things to Do Tip by MalenaN
Isla Isabela Things to Do: 25 reviews and 107 photos
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.
When I visited Floreana on the cruise with Cachalote there was only one flamingo in the lagoon at Punta Cormorant. 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. There is a lagoon in the middle of Villamil where you can see flamingos and another lagoon with flamingos just outside Villamil, by the boardwalk to Crianza de Tortugas. A good time to see the flamingos is towards the evening when you can see them come flying in to the lagoon.
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.
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