Greater or Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) Bachas Beach, north Santa Cruz Island,Galapagos Islands
ECUADOR, South America
Quietly filtering the brackish waters, these birds spread between the major lagoon of the archipelago, particularly those on Floreana, Isabela, Rabida, Santiago, Santa Cruz and Bainbridge Rocks. They seem to undertake seasonal migrations from lagoon to lagoon, on an individual basis, according to local food abundance. Inside their bills are a series of plates which serve to strain tiny invertebrate food organisms from the water and mud. The tongue acts as a piston, drawing water in through the front of the bill and then forcing it out of the sides past the plates. They often patter their feet in the mud to disturb food, but may also feed in deep water - they can swim very well if necessary. The pink color comes from carotenoid pigments in their diet.