19 December 2008

pink flamingos are divine

Floreana Island / Galapagos
Unlike Divine, infamous for her/his antics in John Water's cult film "Pink Flamingos", these Galapagos flamingos are graceful, stately, long-legged - and don't weigh 300lbs. They reside in the salt water lagoons of Floreana Island, formed by shallow flooded lava fields. One particular lagoon called Punta Cormorant is particularly good for spotting these lanky birds. They are usually seen perched on a single leg (for reasons unknown) though this one must have been feeling a bit unstable as it has both feet firmly planted in the mud. And flamingos love mud. They're born in mud nests, breed in mud, and feed on mud. Unlike most birds which feed using eyesight, flamingos only use the sense of touch. They feed by stirring the mud around with their feet, then sticking their heads under water, turning their unique beaks upside down and straining out tiny crustaceans, mollusks, and algae. The flamingo's characteristic pink coloring is caused by the beta carotene in their diet. The source of this nutrient varies by geographical location and species diet but shrimp and blue-green algae are the most common sources.

1 comment:

Zuri said...

This is a great description of the Galapagos Flamingos. These set of Islands are an incredible living museum of evolutionary changes, where you can see a huge variety of exotic species like birds, land animals, plants, etc. not seen anywhere else.

The majority of Galapagos Animals are unique in the world and can only be seen in this group of beautiful Islands.

Galapagos and Ecuador Guide