Did you know that on top of all the other fantastic animals you can find in the Galapagos, you can also find flamingos?
Flamingos in the Galapagos can be spotted in Floreana, Santa Cruz, Isabella, Santiago, and Bainbridge.
These exotic pink birds get their bright color from the food they eat, which consists of crustaceans and small animals that contain pigments called carotenoids. Flamingos in the Galapagos archipelago have some of the brightest pink feathers in comparison to other flamingos around the world!
Have you ever noticed their curved beaks? Flamingos are peculiar animals in every way, and another distinguishing characteristic is their feeding. Flamingos’ beaks are straight when they are born but become curvy so that they can feed properly. The upper part of the beak functions as the lower beak in other birds, which means that they actually eat upside down. These rare birds are filter feeders, they have small glands called lamellae that help them collect food such as algae, shrimp, insects, crustaceans and small fish. Their tongues also help pump the water that contains food. They use their sick-like legs to move the ground below them and stir it up for food, then they collect it through filter feeding.
During the month of February you will find flamingos nesting!
Flamingos build their nests in pairs, both the male and the female flamingo work to make a safe space for their future offspring. They gather mud, stones, straw and feathers to build a nest that will be approximately 15 inches high. They want to make sure that it is protected from any flooding or intense heat.
The female lays the egg, but the male also shares the duty of guarding it, sitting on top of it. Colonies nest at the same time and often in the same place so it is likely that if you come in a few months you’ll run into lots of chicks. However, flamingo colonies have similar numbers from year to year since, unlike other species of birds, they lay only one egg at the time.
So if you get a chance to see some flamingos on your trip to Galapagos, consider yourself lucky and take in every moment of observing these fantastic, unique and rare pink animals.
Also, don’t forget that during February penguins will be migrating to the islands of Fernandina and Isabela and marine iguanas will be nesting in Santa Cruz!