Sunday, April 3, 2022

American Flamingo

I've been wanting to see a wild flamingo close-up for years. We saw both lesser and greater flamingos at Lake Nakuru in Kenya and in Lake Magadi in the Ngorongoro Crater of Tanzania, but they were just swarms of pink and black with little definition. I got my wish the last morning of our stay in the Galapagos Islands as we visited Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island. There was a small brackish pool about 50 yards from the ocean and one beautiful American flamingo was feeding in it, oblivious to our presence. 
There are six species of flamingo. The lesser and greater flamingos, which I've seen, are both found in parts of Africa, parts of Asia and the greater is also found in portions of southern Europe. South America has four species of flamingo, the: Chilean; James; Andean and American. The American Flamingo is found in the Galapagos Islands, Venezuela, northern Brazil, coastal Columbia, Belize, southern Florida, Caribbean Mexico and the Caribbean Islands. 
The Galapagos flamingos are genetically different than the Caribbean flamingos. They are much smaller, have differences in body shape and lay smaller eggs. There are a few hundred Galapagos flamingos and they fly between the islands. The best places to find them are Punta Cormorant lagoon on Floreana Island and Quinta Playa and Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island. They can also be found in Punta Moreno (which we visited and did not see any) on Isabela Island and Bahia Tortuga and Bachas Beach (where we saw the one) on Santa Cruz Island. 


  1. Incredible photos--so pink! I'm surprised there was just one. I think of it as a "flock bird."

  2. If you ever want to see a whole flock of wild flamingo go to CelestĂșn, in the Yucatan. Very easy to get there. You can also see Canadian ducks there, which I find funny because they come from so far away.