22 September 2011

Flamingo, Isla Isabela, Galápagos

A lone American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) lived at the Poza Salinas on the outskirts of Puerto Villamil. Sometimes another would join it, and other flamingos patrolled other briny, muddy ponds nearby. Strange, unearthly birds, the colours and shape spectacular.

12 September 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 300 mm, ISO 400, 1/2000 at f8]

All content © 2011 Pete McGregor


Relatively Retiring said...

Beautiful, with the soft background and the reflection - but what is the evolutionary 'sense' behind that colouring?

Lesley said...

What a beautiful colour it is.

I always spend time looking at the feather detail in your bird photographs and marvelling at it.

That flamingo seems to have distinct joints in its neck. I've never noticed that in long-necked birds before.

pohanginapete said...

RR, thank you. Apparently the colouring derives from the diet — the tiny crustacea they strain from the water. I don't know whether it confers any adaptive advantage, but I'm mindful of the warning by Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontion that not everything has an evolutionary 'function'.

Lesley, thank you. Those kinks in the neck (vertebrae?) struck me, too — I'd never noticed them before (although I've only seen flamingos once before, in Gujarat.