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Greater Flamingo

Phoenicopterous roseus


These flamingoes look very different to the usual bright pink that most people are used to seeing but their pink colouring comes from the carotenoid pigment in the shrimp and spirulina that forms the main part of their diet. I can only assume that these salt marshes are lacking in these shrimp to give them their beautiful bright pink plumage.


seen on las salinas in Calpe, spain. a protected area for waterbirds.


mostly Juvenile birds with the exception of one showing a small patch of pink.

No species ID suggestions


Debbie Stewart
Debbie Stewart 5 years ago

I looked it up and it says most adults go up there in April/May to have their chicks so looks like you were right that its where they would have all gone to. sounds a very interesting place with 160 species sighted there! Thanks for the info once again :-)

The lake is named after a nearby village which hosts the visitor centre.

Debbie Stewart
Debbie Stewart 5 years ago

Thanks for the suggestion Malcolm, I'll mention it next time I go but its usually a flying visit of a few days in between work (which unfortunately some of us have to do ;-) ). the stone fountain lagoon seems a strange name for a salt lake!

They do seem to move around a lot. I have heard that most may come from the huge flock (12,000 + breeding pairs)which lives at a huge salt lake in the mountains north of Malaga, called La Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, which is largely fenced off to reduce disturbance. It is well worth a visit, we went a year or two ago. Juveniles do not breed until 3 years old.

Debbie Stewart
Debbie Stewart 5 years ago

Thanks Malcolm! we went right the way round the salinas as my Dad said there were normally loads of them. I'll add it to my notes.

These all look like juveniles Debbie, except perhaps the fourth which is showing some pink. Juveniles have grey bills, adults pink. Juveniles often gather in creches away from the adults. We have a lot of adults here, they are probably there but in a different area hidden by the reeds.

Calpe/Calp, Comunitat Valenciana, Spain

Lat: 38.65, Long: 0.05

Spotted on Apr 22, 2013
Submitted on Apr 27, 2013

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