Greater Flamingos - Setting the waters on fire

Greater Flamingos – Setting the Bhigwan waters on fire

Featured here are some pictures of the Greater Flamingos at Bhigwan, near Pune. Every year, during winter large colonies of these beautiful birds arrive at the back-waters of Ujjani Dam, built over the Bhima river. This reservoir at Bhigwan is also known to host several other birds like the Painted Storks, Wooly Necked Storks, Open Billed Storks, Red Naped Ibis, Rudy Shelducks, Wood Sandpipers and Black Headed Gulls. The locals at the village in Bhigwan offer tourists boat safaris at nominal cost that help get them a better view of the flamingos and many other birds.

Flamingos at Bhigwan
Flamingos at Bhigwan

There are six species of flamingos – American, Andean, Chilean, James, Greater and Lesser flamingos. Pictured here is the Greater Flamingo which is also the largest of the species.

 

Flamingos at Bhigwan
Flamingos at Bhigwan

The pink color of a flamingo’s feathers is due to the carotenoid pigments in its food.

 

Flamingos at Bhigwan
Flamingos at Bhigwan

Flamingos get their name from the latin word “flamenco” which means fire. And truly, the large number of Greater Flamingos appeared to have set the backwaters of the Bhima river on fire!

 

Flamingos at Bhigwan
Flamingos at Bhigwan

The backward bending of a flamingo’s leg at the knee is actually its ankle. The actual knee is very close to the body and is not visible through the bird’s plumage.

 

Flamingos at Bhigwan
Flamingos at Bhigwan

Flamingos generally migrate at night andcan travel as much as 600 kms in one night.

 

Flamingos at Bhigwan
Flamingos at Bhigwan

Flamingos feed by holding their bills upside down in water. This helps to filter out their food while skimming the water.

 

Flamingos at Bhigwan
Flamingos at Bhigwan

An adult flamingo’s legs are 30 to 50 inches long, which makes it much longer than their entire body.

 

Flamingos at Bhigwan
Flamingos at Bhigwan

The Flamingo is the tallest of all birds. But despite this, they are proficient swimmers.

 

Flamingos at Bhigwan
Flamingos at Bhigwan

Flamingos feed by holding their bills upside down in water. This helps to filter out their food while skimming the water.