Posted by Gautam Chakrabarti on September 11, 2013 at 11:27 pm
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Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) – @ Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary – Andhra Pradesh, India.
Camera Canon EOS 7D
Lens Model EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Exposure 0.002 sec (1/640)
Focal Length 400 mm
ISO Speed 100
The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is found in parts of Africa, southern Asia (coastal regions of Pakistan and India), and southern Europe (including Spain, Albania, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Italy and the Camargue region of France). Some populations are short distance migrants, and sightings north of the breeding range are relatively frequent; however, given the species’ popularity in captivity, whether or not these are truly wild individuals is a matter of some debate. A single bird was seen on North Keeling Island (Cocos (Keeling) Islands) in 1988.
This is the largest species of flamingo, averaging 110–150 cm (43–60 in) tall and weighing 2–4 kg (4.4–8.8 lbs). The largest male flamingos have been recorded at up to 187 cm (74 in) tall and 4.5 kg (10 lbs). It is closely related to the American Flamingo and Chilean Flamingo, with which it has sometimes been considered conspecific, but that treatment is now widely seen (e.g., by the American and British Ornithologists’ Union) as incorrect and based on insufficient evidence.
Like all flamingos, this species lays a single chalky-white egg on a mud mound. Most of the plumage is pinkish-white, but the wing coverts are red and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. The call is a goose-like honking. Sub-adult flamingos are whitish-grey and only attain the pink coloration several years into their adult life. The coloration comes from the carotenoid pigments in the organisms that live in their feeding grounds.
The bird resides in mudflats and shallow coastal lagoons with salt water. Using its feet, the bird stirs up the mud, then sucks water through its bill and filters out small shrimp, seeds, blue-green algae, microscopic organisms and mollusks. The Greater Flamingo feeds with its head down and its upper jaw is movable and not rigidly fixed to its skull.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Flamingo
Pulicat lake bird sanctuary is a saline backwater lake lying along the T.N.-A.P coast; part extending to Chengalpattu district of T.N. It has an area of 481 sq.KM and it is the 2nd largest brackish water lagoon in India after Chilka lake in Orissa. The area on the TN side is 153.67 sq.km.
The Pulicat sanctuary is drained by Arni river while the Buckingham canal brings in the city’s drainage water. At the southern end is an opening on to Bay of Bengal through a shallow mouth of 200 m in width. The rest of the lake is closed by a sand bar running parallel to the Bay of Bengal in the form of the Sriharikota island.
The sanctuary has an area of 321 Sq. KM with 108 sq.KM of National Park area.
It lies within 11o 30’ N to 11o 42’ N and 76o 30’ E to 76o 45’ E.
Rainfall ranges from 800 – 2000mm. Temperature varies from 14o C to 33o C.
Altitude ranges from 100’ MSL to 1200’ MSL.
The wetlands eco system are considered as among the richest areas of bio diversity. Pulicat, by virtue of the mixing of fresh water with sea water is found to be an ideal habitat for diverse life-forms. 160 species of fish, 25 species of polychaete worms, 12 species of prawn, 19 species of mollusk and 100 speceis of birds are well documented apart from a number of other aquatic flora and fauna.
Among the most spectacular is the flamingo-a tall gaunt, white-coloured bird with a touch of pink on the wings, pink beak and legs, seen feeding in shallow water. The squat, large-billed grey pelican with gular pouch and a number of ducks are commonly seen. Flocks of sea gulls and terns circling in the sky or bobbing up and down on the water are an added attraction at pulicat. Besides, there are a number of waterside birds and waders such as curlews, stilts, plovers, sand pipers, lapwings, redshank. Egrets, herons, kites etc. are some other birds found here. The lake is also home to crabs, clams, mussels, oysters, snails, fish worms, insects, spiders, sponges, anemone, prawns, plankton and so on including rare endemic species like gilled leech, an unidentified bloodred fish, etc., Rapid siltation has caused loss of bio diversity. It is seen that mangrove opllen is found on Sriharikota Island indicating their existence some years back. Loss of mangroves may be one of the resons hastening siltation, reducing biodiversity and hence depriving fisherfolk of their livelihood.